Exercise’s Benefits to Dementia Can Be Made Chemically

RUTH WILLIAMS
2018-09-06
Boosting both neurogenesis and a brain-derived growth factor can mimic the cognitive benefits of exercise in a mouse mode of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mice that model a severe form of Alzheimer’s disease tend to exhibit improved memory after exercise-induced neuron production, according to a report in Science today (September 6). Similar improvements are also possible with an exercise work-around, by giving the animals a treatment to ramp-up neurogenesis together with a dose of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

“This paper was really exciting. . . . It is a proof of principle, in an animal model, that you can replace exercise by a bottled therapy,” says Alzheimer’s disease researcher Tara Spires-Jones of the University of Edinburgh who wrote a commentary about the paper, but was not involved in the research. However, “we’re a pretty long way from translating this study from mice into humans,” she adds.
ice that model a severe form of Alzheimer’s disease tend to exhibit improved memory after exercise-induced neuron production, according to a report in Science today (September 6). Similar improvements are also possible with an exercise work-around, by giving the animals a treatment to ramp-up neurogenesis together with a dose of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

“This paper was really exciting. . . . It is a proof of principle, in an animal model, that you can replace exercise by a bottled therapy,” says Alzheimer’s disease researcher Tara Spires-Jones of the University of Edinburgh who wrote a commentary about the paper, but was not involved in the research. However, “we’re a pretty long way from translating this study from mice into humans,” she adds.

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