Obesity and aging linked to higher Alzheimer’s markers in the brain

Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

Scientists from Brock University found that when a high-fat, high-sugar diet that leads to obesity is paired with normal aging, it may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research is published in Physiological Reports and was conducted by Bradley J. Baranowski et al.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive brain disorder that leads to loss of cognitive skills and memory and causes significant changes in behavior.

Aging is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Previous studies suggest that diet-related obesity is also associated with the development of the disease.

In the study, the team looked at the effects of an obesity-inducing diet on insulin signaling (the process that tells the body how to use sugar), and markers of inflammation and cellular stress.

These factors have been found to be involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease during the aging process in mice.

One group of mice received a high-fat, high-sugar diet (“HFS”), while the control group ate a normal diet.

The researchers measured the animals’ inflammation and stress levels in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex in the brain after 13 weeks on the assigned diets.

They compared the brains of aged mice to those of a younger set of baseline mice. The hippocampus is near the center of the brain and is responsible for long-term memory.

The prefrontal cortex, at the front of the brain, oversees complex cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions.

Compared to the control group, the team found the high-fat diet group had much higher markers of inflammation, insulin resistance (altered insulin signaling) and cellular stress in areas of the hippocampus thought to be involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The prefrontal cortex region of the HFS group showed more signs of insulin resistance, but inflammation and cellular stress markers did not change.

The control group’s inflammation levels were also increased after the trial when compared to the beginning.

These results support the theory that aging alone plays a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity exacerbates the effects of aging on brain function.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and new non-drug treatment could help prevent Alzheimer’s.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about diet that may help prevent Alzheimer’s, and results showing some dementia cases could be prevented by changing these 12 things.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.