Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a global epidemic. Unfortunately, we are still without effective treatments or a cure for this disease, which is having devastating consequences for patients, their families, and societies around the world. Until effective treatments are developed, promoting overall health may hold potential for delaying the onset or preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. In particular, chronobiological concepts may provide a useful framework for identifying the earliest signs of age-related disease as well as inexpensive and noninvasive methods for promoting health. It is well reported that AD is associated with disrupted circadian functioning to a greater extent than normal aging. However, it is unclear if the central circadian clock (i.e., the suprachiasmatic nucleus) is dysfunctioning, or whether the synchrony between the central and peripheral clocks that control behaviour and metabolic processes are becoming uncoupled. Desynchrony of rhythms can negatively affect health, increasing morbidity and mortality in both animal models and humans. If the uncoupling of rhythms is contributing to AD progression or exacerbating symptoms, then it may be possible to draw from the food-entrainment literature to identify mechanisms for re-synchronizing rhythms to improve overall health and reduce the severity of symptoms. The following review will briefly summarize the circadian system, its potential role in AD, and propose using a feeding-related neuropeptide, such as ghrelin, to synchronize uncoupled rhythms. Synchronizing rhythms may be an inexpensive way to promote healthy aging and delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease such as AD. © 2014 Kent.
Kent, B. A. (2014). Synchronizing an aging brain: Using food-entrainment to slow Alzheimer’s disease. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6(AUG). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2014.00234