A new study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine indicates that time-restricted feeding, a type of intermittent fasting, may improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. By limiting the daily eating window without reducing food volume, researchers observed improved memory and reduced amyloid protein accumulation in mice. This finding offers a promising non-pharmacological approach to managing Alzheimer’s symptoms and is expected to lead to human clinical trials. The success of this strategy emphasizes the critical importance of maintaining a stable internal clock for Alzheimer’s patients.
- Time-Restricted Feeding Approach: The study employed time-restricted feeding in mice, which improved memory and reduced amyloid protein buildup. The approach involves about 14 hours of daily fasting for humans and targets the circadian disruptions often seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Connection with Circadian Rhythm: Nearly 80% of people with Alzheimer’s suffer disruptions to their circadian rhythm. Researchers believe these disruptions could be primary drivers of Alzheimer’s pathology, and the study shows it’s possible to correct these with time-restricted feeding.
- Potential Human Application: The researchers are optimistic that the findings could translate into clinical practice as a lifestyle change rather than relying on medication. A human clinical trial is likely, and if successful, this approach could dramatically improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s.
- Emerging Focus on Boosting Circadian Clock: This study aligns with the emerging approach of improving health outcomes by controlling the daily cycle of feeding and fasting. It highlights a promising and accessible way to target Alzheimer’s through circadian rhythm restoration.
- Significance and Impact: Alzheimer’s disease is considered one of the largest forthcoming health challenges in the U.S., affecting over 6 million Americans. Any effective non-pharmacological treatment, like time-restricted feeding, could make a significant difference in managing the disease.