TRANSLATE

Welcome to Our Parkinson's Place


I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where
updated news is in one place. That is why I began this blog.
I am not responsible for it's contents, I am just a copier of information searched on the computer. Please understand the copies are just that, copies and at times, I am unable to enlarge the wording or keep it uniformed as I wish. This is for you to read and to always keep an open mind.
Please discuss this with your doctor, should you have any questions, or concerns. Never do anything without talking to your doctor. I do not make any money from this website. I volunteer my time to help all of us to be informed. Please no advertisers. This is a free site for all.
Thank you.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hungry stomach hormone promotes growth of new brain cells

April 25, 2017  By Clare Wilson



Could fasting boost your brainpower? A stomach hormone that stimulates appetite seems to promote the growth of new brain cells and protect them from the effects of ageing – and may explain why some people say that fasting makes them feel mentally sharper.
When ghrelin was first discovered, it became known as the hunger hormone. It is made by the stomach when it gets empty, and whenever we go a few hours without food its levels rise in our blood.
But there is also evidence that ghrelin can enhance cognition. Animals that have reduced-calorie diets have better mental abilities, and ghrelin might be part of the reason why. Injecting the hormone into mice improves their performance in learning and memory tests, and seems to boost the number of neuron connections in their brains.
Now Jeffrey Davies at Swansea University, UK, and his team have found further evidence that ghrelin can stimulate brain cells to divide and multiply, a process called neurogenesis. When they added the hormone to mouse brain cells grown in a dish, it switched on a gene known to trigger neurogenesis, called fibroblast growth factor.

New memories

If the same effect happens in animals, this could be how ghrelin exerts its effects on memory, says Davies, whose work was presented at the British Neuroscience Association conference this month.
Young brain cells are thought to enhance the ability to form new memories. This is because they are more excitable, so are more likely to be activated by new environments. “These neurons will fire more easily than old neurons, and they set in play a new memory,” says Davies.
The work may also have implications for treating neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, which is caused by a loss of a type of brain cell. Previous research, including some by Davies’s team, has found that ghrelin can help protect animals from developing a form of Parkinson’s disease.
In further experiments, Davies’s team found that ghrelin protects brain cells in a dish from dying when they are encouraged to mimic Parkinson’s disease. And Davies’s colleague Amanda Hornsby found that, in a study of 28 volunteers, people with Parkinson’s dementia – cognitive impairment caused by Parkinson’s disease – have lower levels of ghrelin in their blood than people who don’t have the condition.
This suggests that ghrelin, or other chemicals that act the same way, could be used as a treatment for Parkinson’s dementia, says Hornsby.

Intermittent fasting

In people, going on a permanent diet of about 25 per cent fewer calories than the daily recommended amount has several benefits to health, such as better control of blood sugar levels. Some who try it have said it also improves their cognitive abilities, although this is controversial – some studies have suggested it impairs people’s mental abilities.
In an effort to harness some of the health benefits of a calorie-restricted diet, some people are turning to intermittent fasting. It’s likely, for example, that the 5-2 diet, where people eat normally for five days but stick to about 500 calories a day for the other two, raises ghrelin levels.

But Nicolas Kunath of the Technical University of Munich, Germany, points out that new brain cells take a few days to weeks to start working, so people shouldn’t expect fasting to produce immediate effects on their brainpower in this way.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2128695-hungry-stomach-hormone-promotes-growth-of-new-brain-cells/?#038;#038;#038;#038;campaign_id=RSS%7CNSNS-news

No comments:

Post a Comment