A pill for physical activity in the works


A pill mimicking the positive effects of physical activity has been tested successfully on mice. — AFP

Researchers in Japan have developed a pill that can mimic the positive effects of physical activity on muscles and bones.

The drug, which has so far been tested on mice, could help in the treatment of locomotor frailty.

It is well known that a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on health.

Physical inactivity can, in fact, lead to “cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, making it one of the major risk factors for death,” say researchers from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) in the introduction to their study.

Yet, physical activity is not always possible for people with cerebrovascular disease (like stroke) or dementia.

Currently, a long-term bedridden patient undergoes several treatments to strengthen both their muscles and their bones.

However, “multiple medications increase the risk of adverse events,” the specialists warn.

On the other hand, regular physical exercise promotes a feeling of well-being and helps strengthen both muscles and bones.

It is on these last two points that the Japanese researchers focused their work, published in the journal Bone Research.

To achieve this, the specialists identified locamidazole, a derivative of aminoindazole, also known as LAMZ.

This substance stimulates muscle growth and the cells responsible for bone formation, called osteoblasts.

In short, this compound is capable of tricking our muscles by sending a signal similar to the one sent during an exercise session.

This drug was administered orally to mice suffering from sarcopenia (fragile muscles) and osteoporosis (fragile bones).

The initial results are encouraging.

“We were pleased to find that LAMZ-treated mice exhibited larger muscle fibre width, greater maximal muscle strength, a higher rate of bone formation, and lower bone resorption activity,” said study lead author Takehito Ono in a statement.

As a result, this drug could potentially be helpful in the treatment of locomotor frailty. – AFP Relaxnews

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