Active runner

Their co-op contributed to advancing new research on Alzheimer’s and brain health.

It isn’t unusual for Northeastern’s behavioral neuroscience students to be included as co-authors of medical or other research studies. But it’s not every day that they are a part of a groundbreaking study on brain health that is receiving national attention.

Sabrina Bond and Sofia Mazuera, fourth-year students, are listed by name as co-authors of a study that may have significant implications for Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. They found that irisin, a protein in the brain secreted by muscles during exercise, may stave off cognitive decline through research that was conducted by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Bond and Mazuera worked on the study as co-ops.

The research involving mice showed that irisin can improve memory in healthy animals as well as those that received the Alzheimer’s gene. The findings could have implications for humans where therapy typically starts after patients have begun showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

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Behavioral Neuroscience