A protein that may prevent dementia has been found in winter swimmers at Hampstead Heath pool.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge believe that a protein known as “cold shock” holds the key to treatments, helping to delay the onset of aging.
The protein, called RBM3, was detected when mice were cooled to hypothermia. Protein is activated and protects the brain.
A group of people who enjoy swimming in cold water in the winter on Parliament Hill, London, volunteered for the study. They swam over the course of three winters, from 2016 to 2018. As a result, the scientists found significant amounts of the RBM3 protein in many of the volunteers.
Giovanna Mallucci, deputy director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, said “hypothermia therapy” is also being used to protect the brains of patients and babies during certain surgical procedures. art.
The RBM3 protein helps to treat dementia by counteracting the destruction of neural synapses that occurs in the early stages of the disease. Synapse is a synapse that transmits signals between nerve cells.
Prior to this, research from the University of Leicester in 2015 showed that mice without degeneration were able to recover the synapse when hypothermia returned to normal, while mice with degenerative disease did not. At the same time, high levels of the RBM3 protein were seen only in the recovered mice, suggesting that this protein plays an important role in recovery.
A subsequent experiment that actively increased RBM3 levels in mice showed that the protein can prevent brain cells from dying in the early stages of degenerative diseases.
Professor Mallucci hopes the discovery of this protein in cold-water swimming volunteers could open up treatments, using RBM3 against degradation.
Cold water swimming became popular in the UK, with many taking part during the lockdown. The National Open Water Coaches Association (NOWCA), which promotes safe swimming in the water, said there were 110,000 swimmers at 40 NOWCA sites operating this summer, an 85 percent increase year over year. 2019.
Chess Roffe Ridgard, an official at NOWCA, said many of the cold-water swimmers she works with have told of the huge positive impact on both physical and mental health.
Ridgard warns new swimmers to learn how to stay safe when exercising in cold water, because it can cause a shock to the body, leading to bad reactions and even death.
NOWCA has hosted cold water swimming demonstrations online and performed at multiple locations.