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Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2018 Sep;12(5):819-822. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2018.04.031. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Ketogenic diet, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and memory training in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment: A case study.

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Human Bioenergetics & Applied Health Science, Bethel University, MN, USA. Electronic address:
Human Bioenergetics & Applied Health Science, Bethel University, MN, USA. Electronic address:


Alzheimer's disease (AD) deaths have increased by 89% since 2000. This alarming trajectory of neurological disease highlights the failure of current best practice. Deteriorating brain fuel supply is the nemesis of intact neurological health. Cerebral hypo-metabolism associated with AD occurs years before onset. Both the ketogenic diet and calorie restriction (fasting) lead to a compensatory rise in ketones to improve energy deficits in the brain derived from cerebral insulin resistance. Two forms of ketone bodies, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, fuel the brain during starvation, fasting and strenuous exercise. Ketones are neuroprotective agents that shelter the aging brain from memory loss and neurodegeneration. Induced ketone production has been shown to ameliorate mitochondrial function, reduce the expression of apoptotic and inflammatory mediators and provide neuroprotection to cells (Lange et al., 2017). This case study highlights an innovative research design aimed at attenuating memory decline in a 57 year old female previously diagnosed with comorbid mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Mild cognitive impairment is a predementia syndrome known to precede AD (Michaud et al, 2017). The 12-week intervention included ketogenic nutrition protocol, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and memory training using the PEAK brain training app. Memory function was assessed via the MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) pre/post intervention. Physiological biomarkers for MetS including HOMA-IR(homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance), triglyceride/HDL ratio, HgA1c, fasting triglycerides and HDL were measured pre/post intervention. MoCA baseline score was 22/30 (MCI); post intervention score: 30/30 (normal). MetS biomarker improvements also reflected statistical significance.


Alzheimer’s disease; Ketogenic diet; Memory loss; Metabolic syndrome (MetS); Mild cognitive impairment (MCI); MoCA

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