Dementia—a condition involving the extreme loss of cognitive function—is caused by a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia mainly affects older people, and so far, simple and effective strategies for preventing this condition have remained elusive.
In a new study from the National Institutes for Quantum Sciences and Technology, researchers found that a low protein diet can accelerate brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.
More importantly, they found that Amino LP7—a supplement containing seven specific amino acids—can slow down brain degeneration and dementia development.
In older people, low protein diets are linked to poor maintenance of brain function. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
In the study, the team examined how a low protein diet affects the brain in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, which generally demonstrate neurodegeneration and abnormal protein aggregates called “Tau” aggregates in the brain.
They found that mice consuming a low protein diet not only showed accelerated brain degeneration but also had signs of poor neuronal connectivity.
Interestingly, these effects were reversed after supplementation with Amino LP7, indicating that the combination of seven specific amino acids could inhibit brain damage.
Next, the research team examined how Amino LP7 affects different signs of brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s.
They found amino LP7 treatment suppressed neuronal death and thereby reduced brain degeneration, even though the Tau aggregates remained.
Next, the researchers comprehensively analyzed the gene-level changes induced by Amino LP7.
They observed that Amino LP7 reduces brain inflammation and also prevents kynurenine, an inflammation inducer, from entering the brain, thereby preventing inflammatory immune cells from attacking neurons.
They also found that Amino LP7 reduces neuronal death and improves neuronal connectivity, improving brain function.
These results suggest that essential amino acids can help maintain balance in the brain and prevent brain deterioration.
The study is the first to report that specific amino acids can hinder the development of dementia.
It brings hope that amino acid intake could also modify the development of dementia in humans, including Alzheimer’s disease.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about hearing loss linked to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and findings of this blood pressure number may help predict dementia, brain lesions.
For more information about dementia and your health, please see recent studies about this type of antibiotic drug may effectively treat common dementia and results showing that statin and blood pressure drug combos may help reduce dementia risk.
The study is published in Science Advances. One author of the study is Dr. Makoto Higuchi.
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