Friday, March 11, 2005

Enriched Environment and Diet Delays Alzheimer's Disease (in Mice!)

Using a well known familial Alzheimers mouse model, Sam Sisodia and his colleagues found that environmental enrichment (larger cages, colored tunnels, running wheels, toys, etc.) resulted in lower levels of amyloid deposition in the hippocampus and cortex. Very interesting. This actually fits with informal observations by clinicians. Many practitioners have noted anecdotally that the progression of disease seems slower in those with very active intellectual lives.

Using microarrays, Lazarov et al. also found that environmental enrichment triggered the upregulation of a number of immediate early genes. That might also lead to more interesting work. At least for the present, the journal Cell is graciously providing free access to this paper.

Environmental Enrichment Reduces Amyloid Deposition
Health - Exercise, Learning May Fight Off Alzheimer's

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