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posted by martyb on Thursday December 02 2021, @06:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the eye-see-watt-you-did-there dept.

“Exercise in a pill” could offer solution for at-risk people:

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have identified unique molecular signals in the body that could hold the key to developing a supplement capable of administering the health benefits of exercise to patients incapable of physical activity.

The molecular messages are sent to our brain and potentially our eyes immediately after we exercise.

The ANU team is conducting research to better understand what impact these molecular messages have on retinal health, but also the central nervous system and eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Associate Professor Riccardo Natoli, Head of Clear Vision Research at ANU, says the molecules could potentially be hijacked, recoded and "bottled up" in a pill and taken like a vitamin.

"The beneficial messages being sent to the central nervous system during exercise are packaged up in what are known as lipid particles. We are essentially prescribing the molecular message of exercise to those who physically aren't able to," he said.

"We think that as you age, the ability to communicate between the muscles and the retina starts to be lost. Similar to taking supplements, maybe we can provide genetic or molecular supplementation that enables that natural biological process to continue as we age.

"Our goal is to figure out what these molecules are communicating to the body and how they're communicating."

Journal Reference:
Joshua A. Chu-Tan, Max Kirkby, Riccardo Natoli. Running to save sight: The effects of exercise on retinal health and function, Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology (DOI: 10.1111/ceo.14023)


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @06:51AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @06:51AM (#1201405)

    Would that include the obese?

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  • (Score: 2) by Kell on Thursday December 02 2021, @08:31AM (3 children)

    by Kell (292) on Thursday December 02 2021, @08:31AM (#1201412)

    I think they mean patients at risk of retinal degeneration who may be unable to exercise due to mobility issues... but that doesn't make for a catchy click-bait headline.

    --
    Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
    • (Score: 2) by Username on Thursday December 02 2021, @09:10AM (2 children)

      by Username (4557) on Thursday December 02 2021, @09:10AM (#1201414)

      Yeah, that was a lot of words to tell me that moving my legs exercises my eyes.

      Like all things that makes people stronger, this will be illegal in no time. Everyone needs to be equally weak as the weakest person.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @02:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @02:58PM (#1201506)

        There's a reason for that. None of those things has been safe in doses large enough to cause it. If we get something that is safe in high enough doses to cause this effect, we'll have to see what happens, but chances are that it would be approved.

        Bottom line is that the only method of improving your physique involves diet and exercise. And that's likely to continue rather indefinitely as improving your muscles involves not just the actual muscles, but the nervous and circulatory systems as well.

      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday December 03 2021, @04:35PM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 03 2021, @04:35PM (#1201845) Journal

        There's something all you Harrison Bergeron types forget: you, by and large, are not prime specimens of humanity. You're not even above average. Were some nightmare equalization scenario of that sort to come to pass, you would be one of the ones pulling down the baseline.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday December 02 2021, @09:39AM (1 child)

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02 2021, @09:39AM (#1201418) Journal

    And the paralyzed.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @04:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @04:10PM (#1201537)

      There have been stress-test in a pill processes for years. Some use it to qualify the vulnerable before a high-risk procedure.

      You feel like you've had a workout, even though you haven't moved.