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Fat and sugar impaired memory in mice

Fat and sugar impaired memory in mice

Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This type of disease, in turn, can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research has shown that a diet high in fat and sugar leads to obesity and diabetes in mice and can also affect memory. Until now, there has been a lack of knowledge about whether unhealthy eating habits cause temporary or permanent changes in the brain.

The effect of diet on the structure of the brain

Researchers at Lund University studied how diet affected the structure and function of the brain in mice of both sexes. Their study showed that a diet high in fat and sugar led to widespread metabolic changes in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex as well as impaired memory.

An important finding of the study was that we were able to see that poor brain function doesn’t have to be permanent, says Joao Duarte, a researcher in diabetes and brain function at Lund University Diabetes Center.

The hippocampus and cerebral cortex

  • The hippocampus is the part of the human brain that has the clearest link to memory. Researchers believe this is the part of the brain that stores long-term memories.
  • The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of the brain and is divided into lobes that control various functions, such as speech, thinking and memory in humans.
  • The hippocampus and cortex have similar functions in mice. The cerebral cortex of humans develops better than that of mice.

rat behavior study

Mice of both sexes were included in the study and were randomly divided into three groups. A group of mice received a diet consisting of 60 percent saturated fat and sugary drinks for four months, followed by a low-fat diet for two months. Another group received the 60 percent fat diet and sugary drinks for six months. A third group received a diet consisting of 10 percent fat.

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The rats’ brains were studied at the same time, at the same time as several behavioral experiments.

Our magnetic camera study showed that mice that received unhealthy food had an altered metabolic profile compared to mice that ate healthy food. We can also see that an unhealthy diet with fatty foods led to poor memory. The study also showed that the brain regained its original structure in mice that changed their diet. We can also see the restoration of important memory functions, which is very positive, says Joao Duarte.

Contributes to improving aging

This knowledge can contribute to a healthier aging for people with type 2 diabetes. The disease requires lifelong treatment and can lead to various complications. There is no cure for dementia.

It’s hard to do the same kind of study on humans, and research on mice has its limitations. At the same time, there are great similarities between mice and humans when it comes to how metabolism supports brain function. We believe our findings are robust and provide further evidence that unhealthy eating habits can damage important cognitive abilities. Joao Duarte says it’s important to help older adults with type 2 diabetes develop a healthy lifestyle, as it can contribute to improving aging without developing dementia.

Then it was searched

The study included a total of 72 mice of both sexes and they were randomly divided into three groups. A group of mice received a diet consisting of 60 percent saturated fat and sugary drinks for four months, followed by a low-fat diet for two months. Another group received the 60 percent fat diet and sugary drinks for six months. A third group received a diet consisting of 10 percent fat.

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The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRS) to make measurements in the mice’s brains during the experiment. Several behavioral experiments were performed in parallel with these measurements to study the memory capacity of mice.

Memory abilities were examined through tests where researchers studied how well mice were at recognizing new things. Mice that received fatty foods did not explore new things to the same extent as mice that received a healthy diet. Mice that received fatty foods for the first time followed by a period of healthy foods regained their ability to recognize new things.

Scientific material:

Cognitive impairment and alterations of metabolic profiles in the hippocampus and cortex of male and female mice exposed to a high-fat, high-sugar diet are normalized by diet reversal.Published in the scientific journal aging and disease.

call:

Joao Duarte, Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Diabetes and Brain Function at Lund University, [email protected]