Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neurological researchers find fat may be linked to memory loss

Date:
October 9, 2013
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Although there are several risk factors of dementia, abnormal fat metabolism has been known to pose a risk for memory and learning. People with high amounts of abdominal fat in their middle age are 3.6 times as likely to develop memory loss and dementia later in their life.

"While PPARalpha deficient mice are poor in learning and memory, injection of PPARα to the hippocampus of PPARalpha deficient mice improves learning and memory," said Dr. Pahan.
Credit: Cell Reports

Although problems with memory become increasingly common as people age, in some persons, memories last long time, even a life time. On the other hand, some people experience milder to substantial memory problems even at an earlier age.

Although there are several risk factors of dementia, abnormal fat metabolism has been known to pose a risk for memory and learning. People with high amounts of abdominal fat in their middle age are 3.6 times as likely to develop memory loss and dementia later in their life.

Neurological scientists at the Rush University Medical Center in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health have discovered that same protein that controls fat metabolism in the liver resides in the memory center of the brain (hippocampus) and controls memory and learning.

Results from the study funded by the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institutes of Health were recently published in Cell Reports.

"We need to better understand how fat is connected to memory and learning so that we can develop effective approach to protect memory and learning," said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, the Floyd A. Davis professor of neurology at Rush University Medical Center.

The liver is the body's major fat metabolizing organ. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) is known to control fat metabolism in the liver. Accordingly, PPARalpha is highly expressed in the liver.

"We are surprised to find high level of PPARalpha in the hippocampus of animal models," said Pahan.

"While PPARalpha deficient mice are poor in learning and memory, injection of PPARα to the hippocampus of PPARalpha deficient mice improves learning and memory," said Pahan.

Since PPARalpha directly controls fat metabolism, people with abdominal fat levels have depleted PPARalpha in the liver and abnormal lipid metabolism. At first, these individuals lose PPARalpha from the liver and then eventually from the whole body including the brain. Therefore, abdominal fat is an early indication of some kind of dementia later in life, according to Pahan.

By bone marrow chimera technique, researchers were able to create some mice having normal PPARalpha in the liver and depleted PPARalpha in the brain. These mice were poor in memory and learning. On the other hand, mice that have normal PPARalpha in the brain and depleted PPARalpha in the liver showed normal memory.

"Our study indicates that people may suffer from memory-related problems only when they lose PPARalpha in the hippocampus," said Pahan.

CREB (cyclic AMP response element-binding protein) is called the master regulator of memory as it controls different memory-related proteins. "Our study shows that PPARalpha directly stimulates CREB and thereby increases memory-related proteins," said Pahan.

"Further research must be conducted to see how we could potentially maintain normal PPARalpha in the brain in order to be resistant to memory loss," said Pahan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Avik Roy, Malabendu Jana, GrantT. Corbett, Shilpa Ramaswamy, JeffreyH. Kordower, FrankJ. Gonzalez, Kalipada Pahan. Regulation of Cyclic AMP Response Element Binding and Hippocampal Plasticity-Related Genes by Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor α. Cell Reports, 2013; 4 (4): 724 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.07.028

Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Neurological researchers find fat may be linked to memory loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009100620.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2013, October 9). Neurological researchers find fat may be linked to memory loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009100620.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Neurological researchers find fat may be linked to memory loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009100620.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins