08 April 2016

Could Heat Fight Alzheimer’s?

Decreased body temperature with age is shown to have an impact on Alzheimer’s disease.

[Translate to Anglais:] Photo provenant du Fil

A recent study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging suggests that decreases in body temperature that appear with age could aggravate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers André Marette (Faculty of Medicine) and Frédéric Calon (Faculty of Pharmacy), both INAF members, worked with their teams on the hypothesis.

The teams tested the idea by exposing both normal and transgenic mice displaying symptoms of the disease with age to a temperature of 4oC for 24 hours. The effects of the disease appeared in both types of mice, but were more acute in the transgenic mice in proportion to body temperature.

By maintaining the temperature of the transgenic mice to a thermoneutral temperature (28oC in mice), they also observed a decrease in symptoms of the disease: a one-degree Celsius increase in body temperature significantly decreases the production of beta-amyloid, which is responsible for the formation of senile platelets in the brain. The results of the memory tests were also comparable to those of the normal mice.

The results point to the value of exploring the topic of thermoregulation in elderly individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s. If the studies are conclusive, simple treatments could be used to help patients involving physical activity, diet, increased room temperature and pharmacological interventions.

Read the full article in Le Fil. [in French only]