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Cognitive and behavioral evaluation of nutritional interventions in rodent models of brain aging and dementia

Authors Wahl D, Coogan SCP, Solon-Biet SM, de Cabo R, Haran JB, Raubenheimer D, Cogger VC, Mattson MP, Simpson SJ, Le Couteur DG

Received 30 June 2017

Accepted for publication 22 July 2017

Published 8 September 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1419—1428

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S145247

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Devin Wahl,1,2 Sean CP Coogan,1,3 Samantha M Solon-Biet,1,2 Rafael de Cabo,4 James B Haran,5 David Raubenheimer,1,6,7 Victoria C Cogger,1,2 Mark P Mattson,8 Stephen J Simpson,1,2,7 David G Le Couteur1,2

1Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2Aging and Alzheimers Institute, ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Clinical School/Sydney Medical School, Concord, NSW, Australia; 3Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 4Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; 5Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 6Faculty of Veterinary Science, 7School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 8Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging’s Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Evaluation of behavior and cognition in rodent models underpins mechanistic and interventional studies of brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, especially ­dementia. Commonly used tests include Morris water maze, Barnes maze, object recognition, fear ­conditioning, radial arm water maze, and Y maze. Each of these tests reflects some aspects of human memory including episodic memory, recognition memory, semantic memory, spatial memory, and emotional memory. Although most interventional studies in rodent models of dementia have focused on pharmacological agents, there are an increasing number of studies that have evaluated nutritional interventions including caloric restriction, intermittent fasting, and manipulation of macronutrients. Dietary interventions have been shown to influence ­various cognitive and behavioral tests in rodents indicating that nutrition can influence brain aging and possibly neurodegeneration.

Keywords: calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, aging, memory, macronutrients

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