As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: April 8, 2016
by Science Daily:
The drop in body temperature associated with aging could aggravate the main manifestations of Alzheimer’s, suggests a study published in the latest issue of Neurobiology of Aging by Université Laval researchers. Although the phenomenon was demonstrated using transgenic mice, researchers believe that the findings are convincing enough to warrant further investigation in humans.
“We know that the incidence of Alzheimer’s is low before age 65, but doubles every 5 to 6 years afterward,” explains the study’s lead author Frédéric Calon, professor at the Université Laval Faculty of Pharmacy and researcher at Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval. “We also know that metabolism and body temperature decrease as people get older. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the changes in the body’s thermoregulation that occur with age amplify the main manifestations of Alzheimer’s and that a vicious circle can even set in because the disease expresses itself in certain areas of the brain involved in temperature regulation.”
To test this hypothesis, the researchers used a type of transgenic mice that express the main manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease as they age. They produce beta-amyloid, which leads to the formation of senile plaque in the brain; they are affected by a pathology that renders neurons non-functional; and they lose synaptic proteins. In these mice, memory problems begin to arise at the age of 6 months.
By comparing these transgenic mice with normal ones, researchers first established that the transgenic mice were less able to effectively maintain their body temperature as they aged. The difference reached almost 1° Celsius by the age of 12 months. The researchers also observed that the manifestations of Alzheimer’s were markedly more pronounced in transgenic mice when they were exposed to low temperatures: “The abnormal tau proteins responsible for neuron deterioration increase more in transgenic mice than normal mice, and the loss of synaptic proteins is more pronounced,” explains Professor Calon.
Conversely, researchers observed that exposure to a high ambient temperature mitigated some manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. After one week in a 28°C environment, the transgenic mice’s body temperature had increased by 1°C, beta-amyloid production had dropped substantially, and memory test results were comparable to those of normal mice.
“Our findings suggest that it is worth exploring the treatment of thermoregulation among seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s,” says Professor Calon. “If our conclusions are confirmed, it would be a relatively easy therapeutic option to implement because body temperature can be increased through physical activity, diet, drugs, or simply by increasing the ambient temperature.”
As a cognitive neuroscientist and clinical neuropsychologist, I have been yammering away for years about the detrimental effects of loneliness and social isolation on brain health and overall health. Loneliness and social isolation have long been of interest to...
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory. But what happens during exercise to trigger these benefits? New UT Southwestern research that mapped...
A crisis has a way of highlighting problems that garner too little attention in more normal times. The pandemic has laid bare a vast array of social challenges, everything from the state of long-term care to the...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.