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Swimming in Cold Water Can Help Delay Dementia


CAMBRIDGE – Swimming in cold water can help delay neuro-degenerative diseases such as dementia. Academics at Cambridge University found that many of the cold water swimmers they monitored on Parliament Hill Lido in London between 2016 and 2018 had elevated levels of cold shock protein (RBM3), which a 2015 study in mice found offered protection against the onset of dementia.

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Although research this is still in its infancy, but is hoped to help treat dementia in the future. Lead researcher Giovanna Mallucci told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today program that the next challenge was to conclusively prove that protein delays dementia and then find a drug that stimulates its production.

Speaking about the latest findings, Prof Mallucci, who is the director of the British Center for Dementia Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, said that his team compared cold water swimmers to people doing Tai Chi who were not cold.

“We compared you to a group of people who did Tai Chi who were not cold and none of them had increased levels of this protein but many of you did,” Prof Mallucci told the team. swimmer as reported Independent, Thursday (22/10).

“It tells us that cold causes this protein in humans; you are the first non-patient group to demonstrate that swimming in cold water increases this protective protein, “he added.

The project came after Martin Pate, who swam in unheated water in north London’s lido during the winter, contacted Prof Mallucci after hearing him tell the BBC he wanted to see RBM3 in humans.

Prof. Mallucci said that the societal benefits of delaying the onset of dementia by several years would be significant.

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“If you slow the progression of dementia by even a few years in the entire population, it will have a very large economic and health impact,” said Prof. Mallucci.


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