Spotlight on cerebral small vessel disease

By Rosalind Brown, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Most people will have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but fewer people are aware of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), a silently progressing disease of ageing responsible for nearly half of all cases of dementia along with a large percentage of strokes. The global health impact of SVD is huge and while a small number of genetic mutations have been identified as causing some forms, for the majority of cases the cause is uncertain.

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The metabolic benefits of exercise

By Ralitsa Madsen, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, UK

RalitsaM2Iris, the Greek Goddess messenger between humans on Earth and the Gods on Mount Olympus, has made an entry into human biology by providing inspiration for the name of a skeletal muscle-derived hormone. Irisin belongs to the class of myokines, which are molecules released by skeletal muscle in response to exercise and act as messengers to other tissues, including liver, fat and the brain. Given the beneficial effects of exercise, particularly in the context of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, major efforts have been invested into discovering myokines of potential therapeutic value. Irisin seems to have it all, with multiple animal studies confirming its metabolic benefits such as lowering of blood glucose and lipid levels. Continue reading “The metabolic benefits of exercise”