Exercise, Diabetes, Cancer and Autophagy: A Fascinating Connection

Dov Michaeli

Posted 3/27/12 on The Doctor Weighs In

I can already see the yawn forming: exercise again? we know it; it’s good for you, it makes you feel better because of endorphins, it makes your cardiovascular function better because it strengthens your cardiac muscle and improves your circulatory system, and it may even protect you from cancer. But have you thought about what could be the common denominator to the beneficial effects of exercise? If you did, and came up with a blank, I don’t blame you. Until recently we didn’t have a good answer, but now the outlines of an answer are forming. So here goes.

Exercise and Sleep Quality

Dov Michaeli

Posted 3/11/12 on The Doctor Weighs In

According to a report issued by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, 30% to 40% of people in the United States have insomnia within any given year, defined by the National Institutes of Health as ‘‘an experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep’’.

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How did the Mice Beat the Aging Process?

Dov Michaeli

First published 3/7/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

To Pat, on her birthday

At first it sounded like “so, this mouse walks into a bar and asks the bartender, guess how old I am” joke, but then on second thought…

But before we go on, remember the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin button”? To refresh your memory, it’s about a person who was born 80 years old (yes, you read it right) and got progressively younger until he died as an infant some seventy years later. Before you laugh, let me remind you: that’s almost the reverse of Progeria, a rare condition that is remarkable because its symptoms strongly resemble normal human aging, but occur in young children (see picture above). Their head becomes shrunken, narrow and skin becomes wrinkled within a few years after birth. They are bald, lose their eyebrows, and they develop diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and die mostly in their early teens of heart attacks or stroke. We also know that this disease is due to a single mutation in a gene called lamin A.

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