Swimming in cold water can delay the onset of dementia: Study finds

Scientists conducting a research have found that the “cold-shock” protein in the blood of regular swimmers helps protect their brains against dementia.

The cold-shock protein is called RBM3.

Researchers at the Cambridge University revealed rise in production of RBM3 helps repair vital connections in the brain. The protein keeps the debilitating condition at bay for longer.

It causes the destruction and regrowth of synapses, which once lost in dementia can’t be replenished. Due to the loss of synapses, a decline in cognitive function is experienced. As a result of this, a person can have difficulty in concentrating and feel confused.

The same compound is also generated by hibernating mammals. The protein leads to the removal of 20 to 30 per cent of their synapses when they lie down for sleep in winter. However, the regeneration starts by the spring when the animals come into action.

The scientists carrying out the research said that a drug can trigger the production of this protein, staving off the onset of dementia by years.

Various studies on mice have also shown that the protein could ward off the onset of degenerative brain diseases by years.

BBC reported that the brain of a person can be protected by cooling him down. That’s why people having head injuries or those who have to undergo cardiac operations are often cooled during surgery.

During the research, the scientists tested the swimmers under observation for the protein during the winters of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The mission is to find a drug that can cause the regeneration or rise in production of this protein Professor Giovanna Mallucci, who led the study said.