Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Mind

Can a Fasting Diet Help Treat Alzheimer's Symptoms?

There's some evidence in support of fasting as a treatment, but the case isn't very strong yet.

By Alex OrlandoDecember 11, 2019 6:00 PM
AD Fasting
(Credit: TanyaJoy/Shutterstock)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

For many of the 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, getting enough food can be an uphill battle. The disease, which progressively erodes memory and thinking skills, can cause people to lose interest in food and become unable to feed themselves. So, fasting, which tends to be tethered to weight loss, might not seem like a natural choice for Alzheimer’s patients.

“The thing we tend to worry about with Alzheimer’s is keeping [patients] from losing weight,” said John Hsiao, a program director at the National Institute on Aging. “So fasting isn’t something that we recommend, generally. 

But a growing body of evidence suggests that fasting may actually help alleviate Alzheimer’s symptoms and slow cognitive decline. Earlier this year, animal studies in mice demonstrated that intermittent food deprivation, or fasting, can counteract the progression of Alzheimer’s. Other researchers have examined the connection between fasting and aging, noting increased longevity and slower cognitive decline in mice.  

As it stands, the research on fasting and Alzheimer’s is still in its infancy. And with a host of other factors, from sleep and stress to genetics, linked to the disease, we still have a long way to go in unraveling its mysteries.

Read more:

Are We Close to Curing Alzheimer’s Disease?

A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle

HGH Treatment Tragedy Suggests Alzheimer's Might be Transmissible

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In