Compound in Essential Oils May Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Recent research conducted by scientists at Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Suwon, South Korea, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, U.S., finds that a compound called farnesol, which can be found in such essential oils as citronella, lemongrass, and balsam, may prevent the death of dopamine neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease and help treat the disease in the future.Compound in Essential Oils May Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease

For the study, the scientists began by screening a large library of drugs to find a compound that is able to inhibit a protein called PARIS, which is involved in the death of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s. During the screening process, they identified farnesol as a potent inhibitor of PARIS.

Prof. David Dexter, Ph.D., associate director of research at the charity Parkinson’s UK, who was not involved in the study, comments: “Parkinson’s is what happens when dopamine-producing cells in the brain die, so this study is important as it highlights a new pathway that could target and protect these brain cells in a person with Parkinson’s.”

Scientists Developed Nanobodies Able to Stop SARS-CoV-2

A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany) and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) has developed mini-antibodies that efficiently block the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as its dangerous new variants: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta mutants.Scientists Developed Nanobodies Able to Stop SARS-CoV-2

These nanobodies are able to bind and neutralize the virus up to 1000 times more efficiently than mini-antibodies, developed previously. The researchers optimized their mini-antibodies for stability and resistance to extreme heat, making them promising agents to treat COVID-19.

Matthias Dobbelstein, professor and director of the UMG’s Institute of Molecular Oncology, says: “Our nanobodies can withstand temperatures of up to 95 °C without losing their function or forming aggregates. For one thing, this tells us that they might remain active in the body long enough to be effective. For another, heat-resistant nanobodies are easier to produce, process, and store.”

Colorful Fruit and Vegetables May Cut the Risk of Cognitive Decline

In a new study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers find that people who eat the most flavonoids have a lower risk to experience early signs of cognitive decline in later life.Colorful Fruit and Vegetables May Cut the Risk of Cognitive Decline

Some flavonoids provide stronger protection from cognitive decline. Thus, flavones, a type of flavonoid present in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, were associated with a 38% reduction in risk, while anthocyanins, present in blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, were associated with a 24% lower risk.

For this study, a team of scientists analyzed data on almost 80,000 men and women from two large longitudinal studies that monitored the lifestyle and health of volunteers over several decades.

Senior author of the study, Dr. Walter Willett, Ph.D., of Harvard University in Boston, says: “There is mounting evidence suggesting flavonoids are powerhouses when it comes to preventing your thinking skills from declining as you get older. Our results are exciting because they show that making simple changes to your diet could help prevent cognitive decline.”

Protein at Breakfast Promotes More Muscle Growth than Protein at Dinner

According to a new study, conducted by researchers from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, consuming protein at breakfast promotes muscle growth more than consuming protein later during the day.Protein at Breakfast Promotes More Muscle Growth than Protein at Dinner

For the study, a team of scientists fed two groups of laboratory mice protein in the form of a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements either at breakfast or at dinner. At breakfast, the protein constituted 8.5% of the meal they consumed, while at dinner, they consumed a higher percentage of protein at 11.5%. Still, researchers noted that muscle growth was greater in the mice who ate protein in the morning.

The lead author of the study Prof. Shigenobu Shibata says: “For humans, in general, the protein intake at breakfast averages about 15 grams (g), which is less than what we consume at dinner, which is roughly 28 g. Our findings strongly support changing this norm and consuming more protein at breakfast or morning snack time.”

Six Simple Ways to Look after Yourself for Healthy Living

In the modern world, when you’re constantly on the go, it’s really important to take good care of your health on the regular basis, as you only have one body. Here are six simple activities that will help you to stay healthy and feel great:Six Simple Ways to Look after Yourself for Healthy Living

  1. Prepare your meals for a week ahead as it is a good method to introduce healthy eating habits to your everyday routine.
  2. Get some exercise. The best option is HIIT workouts, as you can work up a sweat in 10-20 minutes.
  3. Set at least a basic three-step routine: cleanse, apply moisturizer, and sunscreen.
  4. Practice digital detox – refuse from checking your phone for a certain period of time, for example, not checking social networks till breakfast.
  5. Drink plenty of water, which is 6 to 8 glasses or 1.2 liters per day.
  6. Plan some offline activities like reading a book or taking a bath.

Better Air Quality Linked to Reduced Risk of Dementia

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2021 in Denver, several studies reported that improved air quality is associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of dementia. Similar studies were performed by researchers from the University of Southern California, University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with the French Three-City Study, and the University of Washington.Better Air Quality Linked to Reduced Risk of Dementia

Researchers highlighted three key findings of these studies:

  • reduction of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and traffic-related pollutants (NO2) per 10% of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current standard over 10 years was associated with 14% and 26% lower dementia risk, and slower cognitive decline, in senior U.S. women
  • reduction of PM2.5 concentration over 10 years was associated with a lower risk of dementia in French individuals by 15% and of Alzheimer’s disease by 17% for every microgram of gaseous pollutant per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) decrease in PM2.5
  • long-term exposure to air pollutants was associated with higher beta-amyloid levels in the blood in a large U.S. cohort, demonstrating a possible biological link between air quality and physical brain changes defining Alzheimer’s disease.
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