EXERCISE BOOSTS MEMORY
THROUGH BONE HORMONE
Researchers have identified a naturally occurring bone hormone that can potentially reverse memory loss in the ageing brain through exercise. The study on the hormone osteocalcin lends new insight into how lifestyle changes that affect the body, such as exercise, could positively affect the brain.
“Nearly everyone will experience age-related memory loss in their lifetime, so it is incredibly important to understand its causes and identify ways to mitigate it,” said Eric R. Kandel, professor at the Columbia University. For many years, memory loss was treated as a singular disorder. But scientists have now begun to realise that Alzheimer’s disease begins in a part of the brain called the entorhinal cortex, which lies at the foot of the hippocampus.
On the other hand, age-related memory loss begins within the hippocampus itself. Kandel’s team identified a deficiency in a protein called Rbap48 protein, a significant contributor to age-related memory loss but not Alzheimer’s. The protein levels decline with age, both in mice and in people. Studies in mice showed that moderate exercise, such as walking, triggers the release of osteocalcin in the body.