Tuesday, January 23, 2007
More evidence builds that mental activity can "dramaticlly delay the progress of Alzheimers' disease."
According to Reuters' Will Dunham, "Researchers at the University of California-Irvine studied hundreds of mice altered to make them develop the plaques and tangles in brain tissue that are considered hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease in people." The mice received "brain training," which in this case was figuring out a maze in water and which was made available four times a day for a week at intervels between two and 18 months of age. The mice that were exposed to this learning had significantly slower build-up of the beta amyloid protein, which has been shown to be the culprit in the "gooey clumping" outside nerve cells. These mice also experienced less build-up of the protein that causes "twisted fibers" in brain cells.
The research results have just been published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Kim Green, one of the researchers, noted that research is planned which looks at the effects of more frequent and intensive learning experiences and whether they might lead to longer effects.