Intermittent fasting improves Alzheimer's pathology
A new study from researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine has shown in mice that it is possible to correct the circadian disruptions seen in Alzheimer's disease with time-restricted feeding, a type of intermittent fasting focused on limiting the daily eating window without limiting the amount of food consumed.
In the study, published August 21, 2023 in Cell Metabolism, mice that were fed on a time-restricted schedule showed improvements in memory and reduced accumulation of amyloid proteins in the brain. The authors say the findings will likely result in a human clinical trial.
People with Alzheimer's experience a variety of disruptions to their circadian rhythms, including changes to their sleep/wake cycle, increased cognitive impairment and confusion in the evenings, and difficulty falling and staying asleep.
Boosting the circadian clock is an emerging approach to improving health outcomes, and one way to accomplish this is by controlling the daily cycle of feeding and fasting.
The researchers tested this strategy in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, feeding the mice on a time-restricted schedule where they were only allowed to eat within a six-hour window each day. For humans, this would translate to about 14 hours of fasting each day.
Because the time-restricted feeding schedule was able to substantially change the course of Alzheimer's in the mice, the researchers are optimistic that the findings could be easily translatable to the clinic, especially since the new treatment approach relies on a lifestyle change rather than a drug.
Source: Cell Metabolism