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Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 10;8(1):11976. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30265-4.

Rapid and reversible impairment of episodic memory by a high-fat diet in mice.

Author information

1
Division of Neuroscience, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, DD1 9SY, UK. f.mclean@dundee.ac.uk.
2
Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK. f.mclean@dundee.ac.uk.
3
Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK.
4
Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK.
5
School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Kings College, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3FX, UK.
6
Division of Neuroscience, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, DD1 9SY, UK.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality with no cure and only limited treatment available. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are positively associated with the development of premature cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, linking diet with these conditions. Here we demonstrate that in mice episodic memory, together with spatial and contextual associative memory, is compromised after only one day of high-fat diet. However, object memory remains intact. This shows not only a more rapid effect than previously reported but also that more complex memories are at higher risk of being compromised by a high-fat diet. In addition, we show that these memory deficits are rapidly reversed by switching mice from a high-fat diet back to a low-fat diet. These findings have important implications for the contribution of nutrition to the development of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

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