Platelet-Released Protein Can Replicate Benefits of Exercise in the Brain

Pre-clinical trials by University of Queensland (Australia) researchers have found that an injection of a specific blood factor can replicate the benefits of exercise in the brain. Dr. Odette Leiter and Dr. Tara Walker from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute led a team which discovered that platelets, the tiny blood cells critical for blood clotting, secrete a protein that rejuvenates neurons in aged mice in a similar way to physical exercise. “We know exercise increases production of new neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain important for learning and memory, but the mechanism hasn’t been clear,” Dr. Leiter said. “Our previous research has shown platelets are involved, but this study shows platelets are actually required for this effect in the aged mice.”
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