Studies Suggest Fasting Could Tone Down Alzheimer’s Signs

It is estimated that more than six million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, with data from the Alzheimer’s Association showing that every 67 seconds, another individual develops the illness. This progressive illness affects parts of the brain that control memory, thought and language. A common symptom that many patients experience first is mild loss of memory.

Researchers believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by the buildup of proteins around and in brain cells. One of the primary proteins involved is the amyloid protein.

Some studies have posited that what individuals eat can help slow or prevent the progression of this form of dementia while others have investigated the link between reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and fasting. Now, a new study has found that intermittent fasting may decrease the risk of cognitive deterioration. The study was carried out by investigators at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

For their study, the researchers adjusted the feeding schedules of mice, allowing them to eat within six-hour windows daily. This timing is equal to about 14 hours of fasting for human beings. They observed that in comparison to the mice that ate whenever, the mice that fasted were not as hyperactive in the evening, demonstrated improvements in memory and had less sleep disruptions. The fasting mice also had less amyloid protein buildup in their brains.

In their report, the researchers explained that their objective when it came to intermittent fasting was to restore the circadian rhythm, which could hinder the many disruptions that patients with Alzheimer’s faced when it came to sleep.

Professor Paula Desplats, the study’s senior author, stated that the team’s research called attention to the power of feeding time aligning with the circadian rhythm. The researchers hope that these findings will translate into human trials, as their goal is to acquire funding to conduct a pilot study in 2024. They emphasize that adopting a new dietary pattern isn’t a replacement for medical care and note that patients should discuss their options with their clinicians.

The researchers add that sustaining healthy eating and sleeping habits that are synchronized with the natural environment is very important.

The study also had major limitations, which include the fact the researchers used mice models, which only represent specific aspects of Alzheimer’s, and didn’t represent comorbidities or other clinical illnesses linked to aging, which are common in patients with Alzheimer’s. Additionally, the research was conducted in strictly controlled conditions, which didn’t resemble most individuals’ environments and habitats.

The researchers published their findings in the “Cell Metabolism” journal.

With enterprises such as Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN) investing in developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, patients could soon see a light at the end of the tunnel despite having a diagnosis for this progressive condition.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Longeveron Inc. (NASDAQ: LGVN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/LGVN

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