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Can exercise slow down Alzheimer s?

A proof-of-concept brain imaging study suggests that exercising four or five times a week may delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease in people who already have toxic build-ups of beta-amyloid protein. Prof. Zhang and colleagues monitored "the effect of a progressive, moderate to high intensity" program of aerobic exercise on memory, executive function, brain volume, and cortical levels of beta-amyloid. They also monitored total brain volume and the brain volume of the hippocampus as secondary outcomes. The hippocampus deals primarily with learning and memory, and Alzheimer's usually severely affects the area. If these findings can be replicated in a larger trial, then maybe one day doctors will be telling high risk patients to start an exercise plan. In fact, there's no harm in doing so now." Says Prof. Rong Zhang. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Could this mechanism explain why sleepless nights affect gut health?

Gut inflammation and other conditions that involve the immune system are more common among people with irregular sleep patterns, including those who work night shifts. Now, new research in mice has uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that could help to explain the connection. The mechanism concerns group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s). These immune cells have a strong role in controlling metabolism, inflammation, and other biological processes. "These cells," says senior study author Henrique Veiga-Fernandes, Ph.D., "fulfill important functions in the gut — they fight infection, control the integrity of the gut epithelium, and instruct lipid absorption. However, reduction in ILC3 activity also leaves the gut vulnerable to damage. So, at night, when feeding does not prevail, the brain's clock tells the ILC3s to go back into the gut and carry out defensive and repair tasks." It all has to do with the fact that this specific neuro-immune axis is so well-regulated by the brain's clock that any changes in our habits have an immediate impact on these important, ancient immune cells." Says Henrique Veiga-Fernandes, Ph.D (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)