For those of you not in the know, Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest of tasks. In most people with Alzheimer's, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. The early symptoms of the disease include memory loss and confusion whilst carrying out day-to-day activities. Well, recently scientists have come upon a hormone that could help combat this deadly disease.
Research suggests that a hormone released during exercise may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease. Irisin is a messenger protein generated by muscle tissue that is carried around the body in the bloodstream. Research suggested that Irisin may be behind the known positive effects on mental performance of taking exercise. US and Brazilian scientists have found lower levels of the hormone in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients compared with healthy individuals. The same was true for the precursor protein from which Irisin is derived, FNDC5.
After conducting research on genetically-engineered mice, the scientists induced learning and memory deficits by cutting out Irisin. It will fascinate you to know that they were able to reverse these effects by restoring the hormone. Bolstering Irisin, either with drugs or through exercise, could provide a “novel strategy” for preventing cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, said the scientists.
The research has been reported in the journal, Nature Medicine.