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The impact of ketogenic diets on cognitive behavior, motor function, and blood lipids

A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 16, Issue 7, entitled, “The impact of continuous and intermittent ketogenic diets on cognitive behavior, motor function, and blood lipids in TgF344-AD rats.”

Studies suggest that ketogenic diets may improve memory in mouse models of aging and Alzheimer disease. In this new study, researchers from the University of California Davis and Istinye University determined whether a continuous or intermittent ketogenic diet enhanced cognitive behavior in the TgF344-AD rat model of Alzheimer disease.

“[...] it remains to be determined whether long-term consumption of a ketogenic diet can mitigate declines in cognitive or motor behavior in a rat model of Alzheimer disease. Therefore, the current study aimed to determine whether a ketogenic diet improves cognitive or motor behavior in the TgF344-AD rat.”

At 6 months-old, TgF344-AD and wild-type (WT) littermates were placed on a control, ketogenic diet, or intermittent ketogenic diet (morning control and afternoon ketogenic diet) provided as two meals per day for 2 or 6 months. Cognitive and motor behavior and circulating β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), Alzheimer disease biomarkers and blood lipids were assessed. Animals on a ketogenic diet had elevated circulating BHB, with intermittent ketogenic diet levels intermediate to control diet and ketogenic diet.

TgF344-AD rats displayed impaired spatial learning memory in the Barnes maze at 8 and 12 months of age and impaired motor coordination at 12 months of age. Neither ketogenic diet nor intermittent ketogenic diet improved performance compared to control diet. At 12 months of age, TgF344-AD animals had elevated blood lipids. Intermittent ketogenic diet reduced lipids to WT levels with ketogenic diet further reducing cholesterol below WT levels.

“[...] the intermittent ketogenic diet or ketogenic diet did not improve motor coordination or spatial learning memory compared to the control diet. However, ketogenic diet, and to a lesser extent intermittent ketogenic diet, mitigated elevations in plasma lipids in the TgF344-AD rats. Furthermore, the ketogenic diet decreased plasma levels of total Tau in females.”

Source: News Release
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