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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e60437. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060437. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Hunger in the absence of caloric restriction improves cognition and attenuates Alzheimer's disease pathology in a mouse model.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Office of Energetics, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.

Abstract

It has been shown that caloric restriction (CR) delays aging and possibly delays the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We conjecture that the mechanism may involve interoceptive cues, rather than reduced energy intake per se. We determined that hunger alone, induced by a ghrelin agonist, reduces AD pathology and improves cognition in the APP-SwDI mouse model of AD. Long-term treatment with a ghrelin agonist was sufficient to improve the performance in the water maze. The treatment also reduced levels of amyloid beta (Aβ) and inflammation (microglial activation) at 6 months of age compared to the control group, similar to the effect of CR. Thus, a hunger-inducing drug attenuates AD pathology, in the absence of CR, and the neuroendocrine aspects of hunger also prevent age-related cognitive decline.

PMID:
23565247
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3614512
Free PMC Article
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