Melatonin + Exercise Fight Alzheimer's
The combination of exercise and a daily dose of melatonin, a hormone synthesized from the neurotransmitter serotonin, helps fight the brain deterioration typical of three variations of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study done by researchers from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute, in collaboration with the University of Granada and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Both exercise and melatonin, which occurs naturally in the body and is also sold as OTC products, are known to play a part in regulating circadian rhythm. A release from the research centers quotes one of the study's authors, Coral Sanfeliu, as saying, "For years we have known that the combination of different anti-aging therapies such as physical exercise, a Mediterranean diet, and not smoking adds years to one's life. Now it seems that melatonin, the sleep hormone, also has important anti-aging effects".
The findings, which were published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, show a general improvement in behavior, learning, and memory. These procedures also protected the brain tissue from oxidative stress and provided good levels of protection from excesses of amyloid beta peptide and hyperphosphorylated TAU protein caused by the mutations.
Even so, because the research was done on animals, the treatment not easily transferable to humans. However, several clinical studies have found signs of physical and mental benefits in sufferers of Alzheimer's resulting from both treatments. The authors maintain that, until an effective pharmacological treatment is found, adopting healthy living habits is essential for reducing the risk of the disease appearing, as well as reducing the severity of its effects.