Can Nutrients Prevent or Delay Onset of Alzheimer's Disease?
ABSTRACT Age-related changes in nutritional status can play an important role in brain functioning. Specific nutrient deficiencies in the elderly, including omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and antioxidants among others, may exacerbate pathological processes in the brain. Consequently, the potential of nutritional intervention to prevent or delay cognitive impairment and the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a topic of growing scientific interest. This review summarizes epidemiological studies linking specific nutritional deficiencies to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as well as completed and ongoing nutritional studies in prevention of MCI and AD. Processes that underlie AD pathogenesis include: membrane/synaptic degeneration, abnormal protein processing (amyloid-beta, tau), vascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia), inflammation, and oxidative stress. Consideration of mechanistic evidence to date suggests that several nutritional components can effectively counteract these processes, e.g., by promoting membrane formation and synaptogenesis, enhancing memory/behavior, improving endothelial function, and cerebrovascular health. The literature reinforces the need for early intervention in AD and suggests that multi-nutritional intervention, targeting multiple aspects of the neurodegenerative process during the earliest possible phase in the development of the disease, is likely to have the greatest therapeutic potential.
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by deposition of amyloid beta, neurofibrillary tangles, astrogliosis and microgliosis, leading to neuronal dysfunction and loss in the brain. Bio- and histochemical evidence suggests a pivotal role of central and peripheral inflammation in its aetiopathology, linked to the production of free radicals. Numerous epidemiological studies support that the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is preventive against AD, but these medications do not slow down the progression of the disease in already diagnosed patients. There are a number of studies focusing on traditional herbal medicines and small molecules (usually plant secondary metabolites) as potential anti-inflammatory drugs, particulary in respect to cytokine suppression. For instance, ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and a number of polyphenolic phytochemicals have been shown to be effective against inflammation in animal and cell models. Some of these plant secondary metabolites have also been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-amyloidogenic, neuroprotective, and cognition-enhancing effects. This review will overview the the effects of catechins/proanthocyanidins from green tea, curcumin from turmeric, extracts enriched in bacosides from Brahmi, Ginkgo flavone glycosides, and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids not only counteract one pathophysiological aspect of AD in numerous in vitro and in vivo studies of models of AD, but also ameliorate several of the above mentioned pathologies. The evidence suggests that increased consumption of these compounds might lead to a safe strategy to delay the onset of AD. The continuing investigation of the potential of these substances is necessary as they are promising to yield a possible remedy for this pervasive disease.CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 09/2014; DOI:10.2174/1871527313666140917110635 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lipid metabolism and genetic background together strongly influence the development of both cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD). A non-pharmacological way to prevent the genotype-induced occurrence of these pathologies is given by dietary behavior. In the present study, we tested the effects of long-term consumption of a specific multi-nutrient diet in two models for atherosclerosis and vascular risk factors in AD: the apolipoprotein ε4 (apoE4) and the apoE knockout (apoE ko) mice. This specific multi-nutrient diet was developed to support neuronal membrane synthesis and was expected to contribute to the maintenance of vascular health. At 12 months of age, both genotypes showed behavioral changes compared to control mice and we found increased neurogenesis in apoE ko mice. The specific multi-nutrient diet decreased anxiety-related behavior in the open field, influenced sterol composition in serum and brain tissue, and increased the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Furthermore, we found that wild-type and apoE ko mice fed with this multi-nutrient diet showed locally increased cerebral blood volume and decreased hippocampal glutamate levels. Taken together, these data suggest that a specific dietary intervention has beneficial effects on early pathological consequences of hypercholesterolemia and vascular risk factors for AD.Brain Structure and Function 07/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00429-013-0606-7 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nutrition has been highlighted as a potential factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk and decline and has been investigated as a therapeutic target. Broad-based combination diet therapies have the potential to simultaneously effect numerous protective and corrective processes, both directly (e.g., neuroprotection) and indirectly (e.g., improved vascular health). Here we administered either normal mouse chow with a broad-based nutritional supplement or mouse chow alone to aged male and female 3xTg mice and wildtype (WT) controls. After approximately 4 months of feeding, mice were given a battery of cognitive tasks and then injected with a radiolabeled glucose analog. Brains were assessed for differences in regional glucose uptake and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase activity, AD pathology, and inflammatory markers. Supplementation induced behavioral changes in the 3xTg, but not WT, mice, and the mode of these changes was influenced by sex. Subsequent analyses indicated that differential response to supplementation by male and female 3xTg mice highlighted brain regional strategies for the preservation of function. Several regions involved have been shown to mediate responses to steroid hormones, indicating a mechanism for sex-based vulnerability. Thus, these findings may have broad implications for the human response to future therapeutics.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 07/2012; 32(1):217-32. DOI:10.3233/JAD-2012-120478 · 3.61 Impact Factor