An international team of scientists has established a clear link between feeding mice a high-fat diet and cognitive decline, as well as behavioral disorders. This is reported in an article published in the journal Metabolic Brain Disease.
During the experiment, rodents were fed fatty foods for 30 weeks. Food intake, body weight and glucose levels were measured at various intervals along with tests for glucose and insulin tolerance and cognitive dysfunction. Feeding led to diabetes and subsequent cognitive decline, as well as the development of anxiety, depression, and a worsening of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Genetically engineered mice prone to developing a neurodegenerative disorder showed significant cognitive decline and pathological changes in the brain when fed a high-fat diet. The cognitively impaired mice were also more likely to become overweight due to poor metabolism caused by brain changes.
Thus, obesity and diabetes impair the functioning of the central nervous system, exacerbating mental disorders and cognitive decline. The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking chronic obesity and diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, which is projected to reach 100 million cases by 2050, experts say.