A team of researchers from the Anschutz School of Medicine at the University of Colorado (United States) has discovered why exercise can benefit patients with Parkinson's disease. According to these scientists, intense physical exercise can activate the DJ1 gene, which prevents alpha-synuclein proteins from accumulating in the brain, which intervene in the death of brain cells related to Parkinson's disease.
In the investigation, which has been published in PLoS ONE, transgenic mouse models have been used with progressive Parkinson's associated with age, which began to show symptoms of this pathology when they were in the middle of their lives, just as it happens to affected people. When they were twelve months old, wheels were installed in their cages, and after three months the rodents that had run in them presented a cognitive function and a capacity for movement much better than those in the control group, whose wheels were blocked.
The DJ1 gene protects the brain cells that release dopamine
Curt Freed, professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Colorado, and one of the authors of the work, explained that exercise increases brain and muscle expression of the gene DJ1, which is necessary for normal movement, and which prevents an abnormal accumulation of proteins in the brain.
Exercising increases brain and muscle expression of the DJ1 gene, which is necessary for normal movement and prevents Parkinson's
According to this expert, although the experiments have been carried out with animal models, the results suggest that if the patients of Parkinson's exercise avoid the death of brain cells that release dopamine -A neurotransmitter essential in the control of voluntary movements-, and stop the progress of this neurodegenerative disease.