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Neurobiol Aging. 2002 Sep-Oct;23(5):737-45.

Dietary enrichment counteracts age-associated cognitive dysfunction in canines.

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Life Science Division, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Scarborough, Ont, Canada M1C 1A4.


Advanced age is accompanied by cognitive decline indicative of central nervous system dysfunction. One possibly critical causal factor is oxidative stress. Accordingly, we studied the effects of dietary antioxidants and age in a canine model of aging that parallels the key features of cognitive decline and neuropathology in humans. Old and young animals were placed on either a standard control food, or a food enriched with a broad spectrum of antioxidants and mitochondrial enzymatic cofactors. After 6 months of treatment, the animals were tested on four increasingly difficult oddity discrimination learning problems. The old animals learned more slowly than the young, making significantly more errors. However, this age-associated decline was reduced in the animals fed the enriched food, particularly on the more difficult tasks. These results indicate that maintenance on foods fortified with complex mixtures of antioxidants can partially counteract the deleterious effects of aging on cognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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