Scientists found ‘Hibernation protein’ that helps regenerate the connections between brain cells

Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease, which starts slowly and get worse with the span of time. A recent study has shown that according to scientists, hibernation might help treating those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders. For an instance, if you have been somewhere cold during the winter, chances are that, you have to fight off the urge to curl up and get warm under the covers, just as bears do.

When a bear hibernates for the winter, the core temperature of its body reduces, which exhausts the synapses between brain cells, allowing the bear to fall into a deep sleep for a long periods of time without the need for nutrition. And when at the end of the season, when the body temperature of the bear is increased, the connections between its brain cells are restored, allowing brain to function normal. A very unique and important protein is involved in this process. Through researches, scientists have identified one of these as RBM3. According to scientists, these proteins helps regenerate the connections between brain cells, which make them the backbone of this process.

A group of researchers also tested this process of hibernation on mice. For this, they took two sets of mice. One mouse was bred to develop neurological disorders, while the other one was healthy. They reduced the body temperatures of the mice by 16 to 18 degrees Celsius for about 45 minutes. And as a result, the brain cell synapses degenerated during cooling process but regenerated during re warming in the healthy mice. In the mice bred to develop neurological disorders, the researchers found that as the disease advanced, the brain cell regeneration deteriorated and as did levels of RBM3.

After this, the researchers took a group of neurologically compromised mice and increased their level of RBM3. In this group, it was revealed that by increasing the protein, brain cells and the connections between them can be protected from deterioration.

In the end, they concluded that RBM3 could easily protect the brain function without the need for cooling core body temperature. And as a reference their research was published in the journal Nature.

 

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