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Recent research indicates that aside from its popular use as a weight loss method, intermittent fasting might also enhance memory and reduce the buildup of amyloid proteins in the brain, which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Fasting can help address circadian disturbances linked to AD

Alzheimer’s disease results in distressing symptoms like personality changes and memory loss. The prevalent dementia form also disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm, responsible for regulating various physiological functions. Approximately 80% of Alzheimer’s patients experience issues related to their internal body clock, like sleep problems and nighttime cognitive decline. Regrettably, no treatments presently address this particular aspect of Alzheimer’s.

University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers have confirmed in animal experiments that addressing circadian disruptions linked to Alzheimer’s disease can be achieved through time-restricted feeding. This approach involves limiting the daily eating window without reducing overall food intake.

The study involving mice demonstrated that a restricted feeding schedule led to better memory and decreased buildup of amyloid proteins in their brains. The researchers anticipate that these findings will prompt a human clinical trial in the future.

Targeting circadian disruption to develop AD treatments

The conventional belief was that circadian disruptions in Alzheimer’s patients were caused by neurodegeneration. However, recent findings suggest a reverse relationship: circadian disruption might contribute to Alzheimer’s pathology. Paula Desplats, a senior study author, highlights the potential of targeting circadian disruptions for Alzheimer’s treatments, offering a feasible method to address these issues.

Alzheimer’s disease, impacting over six million Americans, is a significant health concern in the US. Those affected experience disruptions in circadian rhythms, affecting their sleep patterns and cognitive functions. This condition poses a substantial health challenge for the future.

Professor Desplats argues that circadian disturbances in Alzheimer’s disease stand as the primary reason for the requirement of nursing home placement. Any interventions aimed at aiding patients in reestablishing their circadian rhythms would yield substantial impact on our approach to Alzheimer’s within the clinical setting and on how caregivers assist patients in coping with the condition within a domestic environment.