Lifelong Calorie Restriction Increases Working Memory in Mice

Calorie restriction is known to improve memory and slow the age-related decline of specific measures of brain health. Here is another example of research that reinforces the evidence for this benefit, as researchers start to spend more time on searching for differences in outcome in different implementations of calorie restriction:

Caloric restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and the normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. This issue is well examined, but most studies investigated the effect of short-term periods of CR. Herein, 4 weeks old female mice were fed caloric restricted for 4, 20 and especially for 74 weeks. CR mice received 60% of food eaten by their ad libitum (AL) fed littermates, and all age-matched groups were behaviorally analyzed.

The motor coordination, which was tested by rotarod/accelerod, decreased age-related, but was not influenced by the different periods of CR. In contrast, the age-related impairment of spontaneous locomotor activity and anxiety, both being evaluated by open field and by elevated plus maze test, was found aggravated by a lifelong CR. Measurement of cognitive performance with morris water maze showed that the working memory decreased age-related in AL mice, while a lifelong CR caused a better cognitive performance and resulted in a significantly better spatial memory upon 74 weeks CR feeding. However, a late-onset CR feeding in 66 weeks old mice did not ameliorate the working memory. Therefore, a lifelong CR seems to be necessary to improve working memory.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068778

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