A restrictive diet in mice reduces the build-up of a substance linked to memory loss. But can the findngs be applied to humans?
Restricting the diets of mice reduces the build-up of plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimers disease, according to a USC study. With obese people generally considered to be at a higher risk for developing Alzheimers, the research raises questions about whether the findings are potentially applicable to humans. "This is the first indication that modest changes in the normal diet can slow some aspects of Alzheimers disease," said Caleb Finch, co-author of the study published in the online version of the journal Neurobiology of Aging. "But that is far and away yet to be proven for humans. Its a big jump to say that whats true for a mouse in a cage is relevant to people living in our complex world," Finch said.
In the study, conducted with collaborators at the University of South Florida in Tampa, researchers used mice whose DNA had been altered with human genes from two families with early onset hereditary Alzheimers. The mice were then split into two groups as young adults: one that could eat all it desired ("ad libitum") and the other that had its food intake reduced by 40 percent over a four-week period (diet- restricted).
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