Alzheimer’s disease: Time-restricted feeding may improve memory, help in managing Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological condition where memory and thinking abilities deteriorate due to the death of brain cells. Although there is no cure at the moment, there are methods for supporting a person through medication and other techniques.

Time-restricted feeding, also known as intermittent fasting, entails limiting the energy intake to predetermined times and fasting outside of these windows. There are numerous health advantages of the practice include better sleep, better body weight management, better blood sugar regulation, improved cardiac function, and better gut health.

Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, may help people with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, according to a recent study in a mouse model. The most prevalent type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative condition that progresses and ultimately kills. Memory loss, sleep problems, and behavioural issues are symptoms that can be relieved with the help of current treatments.

Donanemab, aducanumab, and lecanemab, three more recent monoclonal antibody medications that clear amyloid plaques, perform well in clinical trials. However, due to ongoing research, these are not yet widely accessible. Altering one’s lifestyle is another method of easing Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

According to a laboratory study, time-restricted feeding corrects the circadian disruptions caused by Alzheimer’s disease, enhances memory, and decreases the buildup of amyloid, a protein linked to the progression of dementia, in the brain.

If these effects seen in mice can be reproduced in humans, managing Alzheimer’s disease may be made easier. Cell Metabolism published the study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association (not involved in research), made the following observation:

“The model used in the study was one of its limitations, according to the authors. The only characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease that was seen in the mouse model was amyloid deposition. The model did not exhibit other symptoms like brain cell loss or the development of tau tangles, another sign of dementia. Although this work is intriguing, more studies using other models are required for confirmation.

Intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding entails complete or partial food abstinence. One or more days a week can be fasted, while the other days of the week can be spent eating normally. Other methods include restricting the time you eat each day.

Intermittent fasting has been linked to a number of health benefits, despite the paucity of research in humans, and numerous studies are currently underway. Weight loss, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, improved heart health, a lower risk of some cancers, and improved brain health are possible advantages.

Time-restricted feeding has been associated in the past with cancer prevention, longevity, and gene modification in mice. According to the most recent research, mice with Alzheimer’s disease had their circadian disruptions fixed by time-restricted feeding.

Both wild-type mice and transgenic mice designed to develop Alzheimer’s disease pathology were used in the new study. They split the mice into two groups at random, each of which included both transgenic and wild-type mice. All of the mice were accustomed to 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light. Compared to wild-type mice, the transgenic Alzheimer’s disease mice had disturbed sleep patterns and irregular activity rhythms. They were also significantly more active at night. One group had access to food continuously, while the other only had it available for six hours each day during the 12-hour light phase. Both groups consumed the same amounts of food despite the different food availability, and there were no obvious differences in body weight between them.

The researchers assessed the mice’s cognitive function using two techniques: the novel object recognition test (NOR) and an eight-arm radial arm maze (RAM). They also collected blood samples from the mice for analysis. The mice were put down at the end of the experiment, and their brains were examined to determine the extent of amyloid deposition and any changes in gene expression.

With time restricted feeding, all the mice had lower blood glucose levels, and the Alzheimer’s disease mice had altered gene expression, lowering the expression of genes linked to neuroinflammation and regulating clock-controlled genes.

The effect of time-restricted feeding on the behavior of the Alzheimer’s disease mouse models was evaluated by the researchers after three months. Only women experienced an increase in total sleep, they discovered different effects in men and women. Improved sleep onset and decreased hyperactivity were seen in both sexes.

Compared to mice with unlimited access to food, those with time restrictions on feeding showed significantly fewer amyloid plaques. According to the study, time-restricted feeding may lower the rate of amyloid deposition and raise the rate of amyloid clearance.

Time-restricted feeding improved memory and cognitive function in mice. Prior to time-restricted feeding, Alzheimer’s disease mice performed worse in the NOR and RAM tests than wild-type mice.