Dementia: Can One Gene Help “Work” It Out?
A partnered research team from John’s Hopkins Medicine and the National Institute on Aging recently published a November study in Cell Metabolism that showed exercise plays a significant role in defense against age-related dementia. The study used mice to analyze the function of the SIRT3 gene involved in cell metabolism and energy production. The team found that the gene functioned intimately with the maintenance of brain cells and protection against stressors and toxins that promote degeneration. Engineered mice that lacked expression of the gene were highly susceptible to neurological stress when exposed to neurotoxins, while increased function of the gene protected against the same neural damage. In addition, they found that when induced by physical exercise, the SIRT3 gene increased in expression and maintenance of brain cell energy. The overall increase in cellular performance enhanced by the SIRT3 gene could yield possible therapeutic avenues for the treatment of age-related degeneration of brain cells found commonly in Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about the study, click here.