The Cheap, Easily Available, Highly Processed Foods We Overeat they are bad for us. An exciting new mouse study has supported the enduring hypothesis that high-fat, high-sugar diets and cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s, they are related.
“Obesity and diabetes affect the central nervous system, exacerbating psychiatric disorders and cognitive decline. We showed this in our mouse study,” says University of South Australia neuroscientist and biochemist Larisa Bobrovskaya.
The team was looking for a mouse model that could tell us more about the intersection between Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and obesityand boy, did they find it, reports ScienceAlert.
The mice were fed a high-fat diet for 30 weeks.
“It is well known that chronic obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are often associated with Alzheimer’s disease, along with many other comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and kidney dysfunction,” the team write in their new paper.
“Furthermore, obesity and type 2 diabetes are increasingly linked to impaired central nervous system function, exacerbating psychiatric and cognitive disorders, including mood disorders, cognitive decline and dementias.”
In a world where eating “wrong” is already incorrectly viewed as a moral failing, this kind of discovery probably won’t help anyone with better eating habits, but it may give us more tools to investigate this puzzling link than the team wanted to investigate further in mice, says ScienceAlert.
To learn more, the team looked adult mice with a mutation in the human tau protein (P301L) called pR5 mice, along with control mice (known as wild-type).
In humans, the mutation has been associated with dysfunctions that directly cause the type of nerve degeneration associated with Alzheimer’s. Similarly, in mice, the genes give researchers a way to pinpoint the mechanisms that link dementia to other conditions, such as diabetes.
The experiment shows that diets high in fat and sugar and cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s are related.
Both groups were fed a normal or high-fat diet for 30 weeks. Considering that lab mice live for around 1.5 years, this is a pretty decent part of their life, he says. ScienceAlert.
Control mice fed a high-fat diet they gained weight, were at increased risk of exhibiting behaviors similar to the anxiety and showed higher levels of tau in the brain. Tau is important because it is a protein that can be hyperphosphorylated into ‘tau tangles’, which is a biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s.
For those mice with the pR5 mutation fed a high-fat diet, there were an even bigger set of problems. They were even more vulnerable to obesity, developed glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, had more depression and anxiety-like behaviors, and their brains showed more tau in the form that causes Alzheimer’s.
“Our results show that a high-fat diet facilitates the development of peripheral insulin resistance and increases cognitive behavioral changes and tau pathology in pR5 transgenic mice,” the researchers write, reports ScienceAlert.
A healthy diet with fruits and vegetables eliminates many health risks (Shutterstock).
“The possible consequence of the pathological changes induced by a high-fat diet is ultimately an aggravation of cognitive deficits in these mice.”
“Our findings underscore the importance of addressing the global obesity epidemic. It is very likely that a combination of obesity, age and diabetes leads to decreased cognitive abilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other mental health disorders,” says Bobrovskaya.
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