Parkinson’s disease is partly an autoimmune disease

Researchers have found the first direct evidence that autoimmunity–in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues–plays a role in Parkinson’s disease, the neurodegenerative movement disorder.

The findings raise the possibility that the death of neurons in Parkinson’s could be prevented by therapies that dampen the immune response.

The study, led by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, was published today in Nature.

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Aerobic exercise may be key for Alzheimer’s prevention

New research recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Societyexplores the benefits of exercising for delaying Alzheimer’s disease.

Last year, a review by scientists at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles found that as many as 1 in 3 cases of Alzheimer’s disease were preventable through lifestyle changes.

The same report also highlighted nine steps that anyone could take to significantly reduce their risk. One such step was increasing physical activity.

In fact, it is so widely accepted that exercise is a good way to prevent dementia that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that individuals aged 65 and above engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week, or 75 weekly minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, to keep this form of dementia at bay.

Finally, a third option recommended by the WHO involves both moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity, complemented with muscle-strengthening activities.

But as the authors of the new study point out, the WHO base their recommendations on a few meta-analyses that have yielded conflicting results on the benefits of exercise for dementia.

One of the reasons for these conflicting results could be that the previous research used dated statistical tools, suggest the study authors.

So, Gregory Panza — an exercise physiologist in the Department of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT — and his team set out to examine the cognitive benefits of exercise in more depth and using newer tools.

They carried out a review of existing literature, which included a total of 19 studies examining the effects of exercise in at-risk seniors.

Overall, the analysis included 1,145 seniors who were at risk of Alzheimer’s either because one of their parents had been diagnosed with the illness, or because they already had mild cognitive impairment, which is a precursor of Alzheimer’s.

Aerobic best for Alzheimer’s prevention

Panza and his colleagues revealed that cognitive function in elderly adults who engaged only in aerobic exercise was three times better than that of seniors who did a combination of aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercises.

The study showed that overall, seniors who did any type of exercise demonstrated better cognitive function than those who did not exercise at all. In fact, those who did not exercise had a slight cognitive decline.

The study also confirmed that the WHO’s guidelines for physical activity were backed up by the evidence that they examined. As the authors conclude:

“Our findings suggest that exercise training may delay the decline in cognitive function that occurs in individuals who are at risk of or have AD [Alzheimer’s disease], with aerobic exercise possibly having the most favorable effect.”

In fact, Panza and colleagues say that theirs is the first study to suggest that aerobic exercise may be superior in its ability to stave off Alzheimer’s in at-risk individuals.

However, the authors also concede that “[a]dditional randomized controlled clinical trials that include objective measurements of cognitive function are needed to confirm [their] findings.”

“Ultimately,” they note, “studies should aim to examine physical activity and exercise in combination with other strategies (e.g., medications) to develop more targeted prevention and treatment options for AD.”

Link original : https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320770.php

 



Feeling the Pain of Rejection? Try Taking a Tylenol

What is a fate as bad as death? Many contemporary and ancient societies considered banishment at least equal. After all, in the past, estrangement from family or friends, along with the corresponding exile away from the campfire or town gates, meant literally getting thrown to the wolves. Not surprisingly, our brains are wired with circuitry so that we can scrupulously avoid such fates, whether that means expulsion to the desert as in the Biblical tale of Hagar and Ishmael or the heartbreak of not getting that long-awaited invitation to the high school prom. The neurological wiring that makes us feel pain, new research suggests, also means that a common painkiller could ease the sting.
One brain area in question resides about an inch behind your forehead. Called the anterior cingulate cortex, it serves as one of the brain’s control centers for that “why me?” feeling when you get picked last for the dodgeball game.

 

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