|Resveratrol, a substance found in red grapes and red wine, may have the potential to protect against hearing and cognitive decline, researchers have found.|
|The study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit showed that healthy rats are less likely to suffer the long-term effects of noise-induced hearing loss when given resveratrol before being exposed to loud noise for a long period of time.|
"Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on bioinflammation, the body's response to injury and something that is believed to be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, aging and hearing loss," said study lead author Michael D Seidman, director of the Division of Otologic/Neurotologic Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.
"Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect against the body's inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition and hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss not only impacts a person's ability to hear, it can cause difficulties with sleep and communication, and even raises the risk for heart disease by increasing a person's blood pressure, lipids and blood sugar.
Dr. Seidman and his colleagues have published multiple papers exploring noise-induced hearing loss, as well as the use of resveratrol, a grape constituent noted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The latest study focuses the inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition and hearing loss.
Mice with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease showed fewer signs of the disease when given a protein-restricted diet supplemented with amino acids every other week for four months, according to a new study.
Mice at advanced stages of the disease were put on the new diet, according to researchers, who report the mice showed improved cognitive abilities when their memory was tested using mazes.
In addition, fewer of their neurons contained abnormal levels of a damaged protein, called “tau.” This damaged protein accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, according to the researchers.
Protein is the major dietary regulator of a growth hormone known as IGF-1, which has been associated with aging and diseases in mice and several diseases in older adults, according to the researchers.
Upcoming studies by Valter Longo, a professor at the University of Southern California and the study’s corresponding author, will attempt to determine whether humans respond the same way, while simultaneously examining the effects of dietary restrictions on cancer, diabetes and cardiac disease.
“We had previously shown that humans deficient in Growth Hormone receptor and IGF-I displayed reduced incidence of cancer and diabetes,” he said. “Although the new study is in mice, it raises the possibility that low protein intake and low IGF-I may also protect from age-dependent neurodegeneration.”
Longo’s research team found that a protein-restricted diet reduced levels of IGF-1 circulating through the body by 30 to 70 percent, and caused an eight-fold increase in a protein that blocks IGF-1′s effects by binding to it.
IGF-1 helps the body grow during youth but is associated with several diseases later in life in both mice and humans. Exploring dietary solutions to those diseases as opposed to developing new drugs to manipulate IGF-1 directly allows the research team to make strides that could help sufferers today or in the next few years, Longo said.
“We always try to do things for people who have the problem now,” he said. “Developing a drug can take 15 years of trials and a billion dollars.
“Although only clinical trials can determine whether the protein-restricted diet is effective and safe in humans with cognitive impairment, a doctor could read this study today and, if his or her patient did not have any other viable options, could consider introducing the protein restriction cycles in the treatment — understanding that effective interventions in mice may not translate into effective human therapies.”
Because many elderly people may already be frail, have lost weight or may not be healthy enough to eat a protein-restricted diet every other week, Longo advises that any dieting be monitored by a doctor or registered dietician to make sure that patients do not become amino acid deficient, lose additional weight or develop other side effects.
The results of the study were published online by Aging Cell.
Researchers have pinpointed how vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the immune system’s ability to clear the brain of amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease
In a small pilot study, the scientists identified key genes and signaling networks regulated by vitamin D3 and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that may help control inflammation and improve plaque clearance
Previous laboratory work by the team helped clarify key mechanisms involved in helping vitamin D3 clear amyloid-beta, the abnormal protein found in the plaque. The new study extends the previous findings with vitamin D3 and highlights the role of omega-3 DHA
“Our new study sheds further light on a possible role for nutritional substances such as vitamin D3 and omega-3 in boosting immunity to help fight Alzheimer’s,” said study author Dr. Milan Fiala, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
For the study, scientists drew blood samples from both Alzheimer’s patients and healthy controls, then isolated critical immune cells called macrophages from the blood. Macrophages are responsible for gobbling up amyloid-beta and other waste products in the brain and body
The team incubated the immune cells overnight with amyloid-beta. They added either an active form of vitamin D3 called 1alpha,25–dihydroxyvitamin D3 or an active form of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA called resolvin D1 to some of the cells to gauge the effect they had on inflammation and amyloid-beta absorption
Both 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and resolvin D1 improved the ability of the Alzheimer’s disease patients’ macrophages to gobble-up amyloid-beta, and they inhibited the cell death that is induced by amyloid-beta. Researchers observed that each nutrition molecule utilized different receptors and common signaling pathways to do this
Previous work by the team, based on the function of Alzheimer’s patients’ macrophages, showed that there are two groups of patients and macrophages.
In the current study, researchers found that the macrophages of the Alzheimer’s patients differentially expressed inflammatory genes, compared with the healthy controls, and that two distinct transcription patterns were found that further define the two groups: Group 1 had an increased transcription of inflammatory genes, while Group 2 had decreased transcription. Transcription is the first step leading to gene expression
“Further study may help us identify if these two distinct transcription patterns of inflammatory genes could possibly distinguish either two stages or two types of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study author Mathew Mizwicki, an assistant researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
While researchers found that 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and resolvin D1 greatly improved the clearance of amyloid-beta by macrophages in patients in both groups, they discovered subtleties in the effects the two substances had on the expression of inflammatory genes in the two groups.
In Group 1, the increased-inflammation group, macrophages showed a decrease of inflammatory activation; in Group 2, macrophages showed an increase of the inflammatory genes IL1 and TLRs when either 1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 or resolvin D1 were added
More study is needed, Fiala said, but these differences could be associated with the severity of patients’ nutritional and/or metabolic deficiencies of vitamin D3 and DHA, as well as the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
“We may find that we need to carefully balance the supplementation with vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids, depending on each patient in order to help promote efficient clearing of amyloid-beta,” Fiala said.
“This is a first step in understanding what form and in which patients these nutrition substances might work best,” he noted
The next step is a larger study to help confirm the findings, as well as a clinical trial with omega-3 DHA, the researchers said
The study appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
English Premier League soccer players,NHL hockey players, France's Top 14 club rugby players, and evenelite amateur athletes have better developed cognitive functions than the average university student, according to a new study.
The study undertaken by Professor Jocelyn Faubert of the University of Montreal's School of Optometry demonstrates a possible outcome of the increased cortical thickness that has been found in areas of trained athletes' brains.
It also offers researchers new avenues for exploring the treatment of people who have issues with attention, such as the elderly.
"Study participants were asked to describe a series of simulated objects moving through three dimensions. Although the context had nothing to do with any specific sport, we found that professional athletes were able to process the visual scenes much better than amateur athletes who were in turn better than the students," Faubert explained.
"It would appear that athletes are able to hyper-focus their attention to enhance learning, which is key to their abilities," Faubert said.
The researcher worked with 102 professional players from the groups mentioned above, 173 elite amateur athletes - who were recruited from the NCAA American university sports program and a European Olympic training centre, and 33 non-athlete university students.
The participants undertook the "3D-MOT" task fifteen times to evaluate several skills that scientists believe are critical to visual perceptual and cognitive abilities when viewing complex scenes: distribution of attention between a number of moving targets amongst distracters, large field of vision, maximum speed of objects that one is able to follow, and the ability to perceive depth.
The scene is "neutral", meaning that sport specific familiarity such as play knowledge or experience will not influence the score as the movements and interactions are totally random. The 3D-MOT task was in fact developed by Professor Faubert and can be evaluated by using a graphical simulation machine he invented, known as the Neurotracker, and it has been used by teams such as Manchester United and teams in the NFL and NHL.
The tests revealed that the professional athletes were able to learn how to track fast moving objects at a much superior rate than the other groups, although all three groups improved their score over the 15 training sessions.