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Reducing Caloric Intake Slows Nerve Cell Degeneration

May 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who tested the impact of a restricted calorie diet on lab animals found that it delays the onset of nerve cell loss common in neurodegenerative diseases by activating an enzyme called Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). They further found that they could activate SIRT1 without dietary changes by administering a drug. The mice that received the drug had less cell loss and better cellular connectivity than the mice that did not receive the drug. The researchers believe that the drug – which they did not identify – could someday be used to slow the process of age-associated impairments in the brain.
Li-Huei Tsai et al., "SIRT1 Activator Prevents Neurodegeneration in Mice", The Journal of Neuroscience, May 21, 2013, © Society for Neuroscience
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