A new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has established that Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an effective means of improving long term memory retention and generating new adult hippocampal neurons in mice, in what the researchers hope has the potential to slow the advance of cognitive decline in older people.
The study [...] found that a calorie restricted diet via every other day fasting was an effective means of promoting Klotho[*] gene expression in mice. Klotho, which is often referred to as the “longevity gene” has now been shown in this study to play a central role in the production of hippocampal adult-born new neurons or neurogenesis.
Adult-born hippocampal neurons are important for memory formation and their production declines with age, explaining in part cognitive decline in older people.
The researchers split female mice into three groups; a control group that received a standard diet of daily feeding, a daily Calorie Restricted (CR) diet, and Intermittent Fasting (IF) in which the mice were fed every other day. The latter two groups were fed 10% less calories than the control.
Over the course of three months, the mice in the IF group demonstrated improved long-term memory retention compared to the other groups. When the brains of these mice were studied, it was apparent that the Klotho gene was upregulated, and neurogenesis increased compared to those that were on the CR diet.
[*] Klothpo [wikipedia.org] at Wikipedia.
Gisele Pereira Dias, Tytus Murphy, Doris Stangl, et al. Intermittent fasting enhances long-term memory consolidation, adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and expression of longevity gene Klotho [open], Molecular Psychiatry (DOI: 10.1038/s41380-021-01102-4 [doi.org])