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Controlling Body Temperature: New Hope After an Alzheimer's Study

Alzheimer's is a debilitating and progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys your brain cells. This damage leads to loss of memory, brain function, and cognition.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than five million Americans are living with this disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Doctors, researchers, and scientists have been working tirelessly to find a way to slow progression and discover potential cures.

What is the latest Alzheimer's study?

When animals hibernate, their body temperature drops to abnormal levels, which can cause brain cell connections to be lost. However, after hibernation and while the animal's body begins to warm up, these brain cell connections are restored. Hypothermia in humans does the same thing, and even though it can cause damage to other parts of your body, your brain is often unaffected.

Scientists at Medical Research Council reduced body temperature of healthy mice to 16-18 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes (temperatures similar of small mammals that hibernate). Researchers then repeated the experiment with mice that carried features of Alzheimer's.

They found the regeneration disappeared as the disease progressed, and noted the loss of RBM3. When the mice's RBM3 was artificially boosted, it was enough to protect brain cell depletion and reduced memory loss.

What does this mean for the future treatment of Alzheimer's?

Dr. Mike discusses the latest study on Alzheimer's and what this means for the future treatment options.