Intermittent Fasting and Better Sleep Fight Alzheimer’s


SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – It steals our memories and impacts our minds. Alzheimer’s disease is being called a health crisis as worldwide care is estimated at more than $1 trillion and it’s expected to get worse. There is no cure, but new research reveals that how you eat and sleep could impact it. Intermittent Fasting

Every 65 seconds, someone in America is told they have Alzheimer’s disease. Today, more than six million Americans are living with it, and now, new research suggests our circadian rhythm, or internal clock, could play a role in cognitive decline.

“Eighty percent of the patients that suffer Alzheimer’s disease will manifest some in the regulation. These patients will be very sleepy during the day, but then, during the night, they will be awake,” explains Paula Desplats, PhD, Professor of the Department of Neurosciences at UC Sn Diego School of Medicine.

(Read Full Interview)

Desplats’ team at UC San Diego is one of the first to study how intermittent fasting could impact our internal clocks, affect our sleep, and change our brains.

“The rhythms of activities throughout the day and these rhythms are broken, that is even a biomarker or a potential predictor of developing dementia down the road,” Desplats further explains.

The mice diet was what would be equivalent to 14 hours of fasting for people. The animals exhibited better memory and regular sleep patterns.

Desplats adds, “These animals that were fasting had really fewer senile plaques in the brain.”

The next step – human clinical trials, and unlike drug-based treatments, this lifestyle change could be a simple way to prevent and slow the progression of this devastating disease.

“If we can improve, if we can change, even a little bit, this progression curve, if we can keep these patients with their families, that’s what we want to try to do,” Desplats says.

Alzheimer’s disease may not be the only disease impacted by our circadian rhythms – other studies in mice have shown that it also may impact people with Huntington’s disease.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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BACKGROUND: Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the brain, leading to memory loss, cognitive decline, and changes in behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for a significant portion of dementia cases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 55 million people are living with Alzheimer’s worldwide, but six million Americans are suffering from the condition, and that number is expected to grow to 13 million by 2050. One in three seniors in the United States will die from Alzheimer’s, and it’s responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than breast and prostate cancers combined.


DIAGNOSING: Memory loss is usually the first telltale sign of Alzheimer’s. Other signs and symptoms of the disease include, but are not limited to: repeating statements or questions over and over, getting lost in familiar places, having trouble finding the right words for objects, difficulty concentrating and thinking, changes in judgement and decision-making, difficulty performing everyday tasks/routine activities, and/or changes in personality and behavior like: depression, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, anger, wandering, change in sleep, and/or delusions. Doctors can usually diagnose Alzheimer’s with tests, such as: physical and neurological exams, lab tests, mental status and neuropsychological testing, MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, fluorodeoxyglucose PET imaging, amyloid PET imaging, and/or Tau PET imaging.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: UC San Diego conducted research to see what could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s using mice. Paula Desplats, PhD, Neuroscientist, led the study. Desplats and her team used mice to see if intermittent fasting and sleep improved their memory and motor skills. According to Desplats, “The mice diet was what would be equivalent to 14 hours of fasting for people. The animals exhibited better memory and regular sleep patterns.” The researchers found less accumulation of amyloid protein in the mice who participated in the intermittent fasting.

(Sources: Paula Desplats, PhD, Neuroscientist at UC San Diego,a%20hallmark%20of%20Alzheimer%27s%20disease.)


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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Paula Desplats, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences

Read the entire Q&A