Queen study says hormone involved in exercise may delay Alzheimer's disease – Kingston


A study at Queen's University found that a hormone developed through exercise can slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Fernanda De Felice oversaw the study, which was co-authored by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro before being published in Nature Medicine on Monday.

"What we found was that Alzheimer's patients have less of the hormone irisin," De Felice said. She went on to say, "This molecule is developed through exercise and is responsible for the protective actions in our brain."

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De Felice explained that irisin helps to rescue interrupted synapses that allow communication between brain cells and memory formation.

She and her team have been researching the irisine for almost seven years and tested their theory on mice, which proved to be successful.

"They [mice] had some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, including memory loss, but when we treat these animals with irisin, they act normally and are able to remember, "De Felice said.

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According to De Felice, this breakthrough is important to mankind, because curing dementia and Alzheimer's disease is one of today's biggest and most pressing health care challenges.

Felice says that daily exercise is not only necessary to decrease the chances of Alzheimer's for the elderly but for people of all ages.

When Kingstonians were briefed on the recent study and asked whether they would consider increasing their workouts, or living a more active lifestyle, each person agreed that they would take the necessary steps to prevent the disease.

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De Felice is currently working on ways to condense irisine into a pill to stimulate the brain with the molecule, and she hopes that tests on mice will be a good sign for humans.

"We need to first test on humans before we can think this is a viable treatment for the disease," De Felice said.

There is no timetable for when your team will start testing on humans.

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