The answer for the cure of Alzheimer’s Disease may be closer than imagined: scientists have found good results in research with irisin, a hormone stimulated by the practice of physical exercise.

Alzheimer’s disease affects about 35 million people worldwide. Among its main symptoms, there are memory loss and decline in reasoning skills.

But, thanks to scientific studies of neuroscientist Fernanda DeFelice and biochemist Sergio Teixeira Ferreira, professors at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), in collaboration with neuroscientist Fernanda Trovar-Moll, researcher at UFRJ and D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), Alzheimer´s disease is about to have a more effective treatment against memory loss.

After a long period of time analyzing experiments, researchers noticed that the stimulus to hormone irisin, released by the muscles during the practice of physical activities, has great importance in memory protection against the effects generated by Alzheimer’s disease.

During seven years of studies, one of the issues noticed was the damage caused to memory under development when the hormone irisin was neutralized. On the other hand, after the practice of physical exercises or injection in the blood stream, the high concentration of this hormone helped mice with Alzheimer’s signs to recover their learning skill.


What is irisin?

Irisin works as a chemical benefit for organs and tissue. After tests performed on rodents, a team at Harvard University noticed that this hormone acted directly on the white adipose tissue (fat cells for energy), transforming it into brown tissue, which transforms energy into heat.

As they noticed the possibility of this hormone working in the brain, researchers started to compare the level in healthy people, people suffering from some memory loss, and people with Alzheimer’s symptoms.

As a result, they learned that the level of irisin reduced by around 50% in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with Alzheimer’s. This was the first step to link irisin to the cure of Alzheimer’s disease.


Alzheimer tem cura

Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s disease?

After running the most complex tests in the hippocampus of mice, where irisin was directly stimulated, scientists noticed that, in fact, neurons became more protected against degenerative diseases.

However, unfortunately, this is not enough to say that there already is a treatment against Alzheimer’s symptoms. Researches are evolving into new studies that will give details on the association of irisin in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This is the researchers’ bet.


How to prevent Alzheimer’s disease

What causes Alzheimer’s is the death of brain cells. Some of the symptoms of the disease are dementia, the loss of memory, speaking, orientation and attention.

Although it does not have a cure yet, Alzheimer’s disease may have its progression slowed down and its symptoms controlled, which is important to improve the patients’ quality of life.

One of the ways to prevent Alzheimer’s is practicing physical activities, which can stimulate irisin production, benefiting the body and, more importantly, the neurons.

Besides reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s disease in young people, physical activities also contribute to the quality of life, avoiding many other kinds of diseases.

Even being so dangerous, melanoma can have great chances of cure if discovered early.



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Source: Pesquisa FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) Magazine