Intermittent fasting can improve symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s

Among the problems suffered by people with Alzheimer’s are the disturbances in your circadian rhythms – the body’s internal biological clock that regulates many physiological processes – including changes in your sleep/wake cycle, a worsening of cognitive decline, and agitation in the late afternoon – known as sunset syndrome or sundowning–, and difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep.

Now, a study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) School of Medicine has found that correct circadian disruptions seen in Alzheimer’s disease with time-restricted eating, a type of intermittent fasting which consists of limiting the daily feeding window without limiting the amount of food consumed.

The experiments have been carried out on mice and showed that those who were fed with a restricted schedule showed improvements in memory and a decreased accumulation of amyloid proteins in the brain. The findings have been published in Cell Metabolism and the authors have stated that they will likely result in a human clinical trial.

“If we can reproduce our results in humans, this approach could be a simple way to dramatically improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.”

“For many years, we assumed that the circadian disturbances seen in people with Alzheimer’s are the result of the neurodegeneration, but now we are learning that it may be the other way around: circadian disruption may be one of the main drivers of Alzheimer’s pathology,” said study lead author Paula Desplats, a professor in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California School of Medicine. UC San Diego. “This makes circadian disruptions a promising target for new treatments for Alzheimer’sand our findings provide proof of concept for an easy and accessible way to fix these outages.”

“Circadian disturbances in Alzheimer’s disease are the leading cause of patients being admitted to nursing homes,” Desplats says. “Anything we can do to help patients restore their circadian rhythm It will make a big difference in how we manage Alzheimer’s in the clinic and how caregivers help patients manage the disease at home.”

Restricted eating alleviated behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Encouraging circadian rhythms is a novel approach to improving health, and one way to achieve it is control the daily cycle of feeding and fasting. The researchers tested this strategy in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, restricting the mice’s eating schedule to a six-hour period each day, which in the case of humans would translate to about 14 hours of fasting each day.

Compared with control mice that had free access to food at all times, the restricted-fed mice had better memory, were less hyperactive at night, followed a more regular sleep schedule, and experienced fewer interruptions during sleep. dream. In addition, they also performed better on cognitive assessments than control mice, demonstrating that the time-restricted feeding schedule could help mitigate behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also observed improvements at the molecular level in the animals; Thus, in mice fed with a restricted schedule, they found that multiple genes associated with Alzheimer’s and neuroinflammation were expressed differently. They also found that timing of eating helped reduce the amount of amyloid protein that accumulated in the brain.

Because the time-restricted feeding schedule was able to significantly change the course of Alzheimer’s disease in mice, the researchers are optimistic that these findings could easily translate into the clinic, especially since the new treatment approach is based on a lifestyle change instead of a drug.

“The time restricted feeding it’s a strategy that people can easily and immediately integrate into their lives,” Desplats said. “If we can reproduce our results in humans, this approach could be a simple way to dramatically improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them.”


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