Dementia research news spring 15 brief

Care and cure magazine - Spring 2015

News in brief

A protein activated in response to cold may prevent the loss of connections between brain cells in neurodegenerative diseases. It was already known that reducing body temperature can protect the brain from damage but new research has identified the protein responsible, RBM3. Artificially boosting levels of RBM3 in the brain prevented further damage in mice with Alzheimer's disease.

A study of twins suggests that playing a musical instrument in later life reduces the risk of developing dementia. Swedish researchers surveyed the musical habits of 157 pairs of twins where just one twin in each pair had dementia. They found that people who had played an instrument were less likely to have developed dementia.

People remember more of complex information if they rest after learning than if they are given new information. The study, funded by Alzheimer's Society, gave healthy volunteers two routes to memorise. In one route memorisation was followed by a 10-minute rest and in the other by a 10-minute game. After seven days, memory recall was better for the route that had been followed by a rest.