A new study from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom finds that brain cholesterol is associated with the developing of Alzheimer’s disease.
With the help of in vitro modeling in the laboratory, the scientists were able to see that cholesterol sped up the aggregation of amyloid beta molecules by 20. At the present moment, the build-up of amyloid beta proteins is believed to be crucial in developing the Alzheimer’s disease.
Lead researcher Michele Vendruscolo says: “The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol’s role in Alzheimer’s disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid beta.”
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh, UK, found a link between depression and the structure of white matter in the brain, areas that are responsible for connecting gray matter and making sure that emotions and thoughts are properly processed.
The study used data from 3,461 adults taken from the largest single sample published to date. The study shows that people with depression have changes in the white matter wiring the brain.
Heather Whalley, one of the team, says: “There is an urgent need to provide treatment for depression and an improved understanding of its mechanisms will give us a better chance of developing new and more effective methods of treatment.”
A recent research from the UK, published in the medical journal BMJ, suggests that even moderate drinking may cause changes in aging brains and lead to eventual memory loss.
Within the scope of the study, the scientists considered 8 to 12 small glasses of wine, bottles of beer or shots of liquor weekly as a moderate drinking. For their study, a team of researchers examined three decades of records from 527 British civil servants who were a part of a prolonged health study.
Lead researcher Anya Topiwala of the University of Oxford says: “I wouldn’t recommend light to moderate drinking as a strategy to avoid cognitive decline. It’s not clear how much drinking might be safe from a brain health standpoint.”
According to a small study by the Canadian team, a moderate walking regimen can reduce the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment connected to poor blood vessels in the brain.
To complete their study, a team of scientists randomly divided 38 older adults with mild vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). One group had one-hour walking classes every week for 6 months, while another group did not perform any additional tasks to their everyday activity.
Participants in the training group had significant improvements in their reaction times on the cognitive tests and demonstrated changes in their brain activity that made them resemble healthy brains more.
Senior author of the study Teresa Liu-Ambrose, a researcher with the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the University of British Columbia, says: “While more research is needed to better understand how it brings about its benefits and what factors may impact the degree of benefit observed, there is minimal negative consequence of exercising.”
More and more studies, including two new studies published in the spring, find that any exercise, raising your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for some period of time, or so-called aerobic exercise positively influence your brain, improving your memory, warding off stress, and boosting focus.
Scientists say that the best type of fitness, for your heart and brain, is any regular aerobic exercise that you can do for at least 45 minutes at a time.
Joe Northey, a lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist and the University of Canberra, says that his research suggests that anyone in good health over 50 should do 45 minutes to an 1 hour of aerobic exercise on as many days of the week as feasible.