Study Shorts 2 * Unsaturated Fats – Vitamin D * Caloric Restriction – Grey Matter * Environmental Enrichment – Cognitive Decline * Parathyroid Hormone – Cognitive Decline * Taurine – Learning Deficits *


Polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease the apparent affinity of vitamin D metabolites for human vitamin D-binding protein.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats affect vitamin D-binding protein, which transports vitamin D around the body.

Mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids markedly decreased the affinity of both 25-OHD3 and 1,25-(OH)2D3 for DBP, whereas saturated fatty acids (stearic and arachidic acid), cholesterol, cholesterol esters, retinol, retinoic acid and prostaglandins (A1 and E1) did not affect the apparent affinity…
The binding and bioavailability of vitamin D metabolites thus might be altered by mono- and polyunsaturated but not by saturated fatty acids.    

Caloric restriction increases lifespan but affects brain integrity in grey mouse lemur primates

30% caloric restriction increases lifespan by 50% in lemurs. Caloric restriction leads to atrophied grey matter but not detectable changes in cognitive and behavioral performance. Age related cerebral trophy, which is associated with cognitive decline in humans, was blunted by caloric restriction.

Here we report the most advanced survival data and the associated follow-up to our knowledge of age-related alterations in a cohort of grey mouse lemurs (Microcebusmurinus, lemurid primate) exposed to a chronic moderate (30%) caloric restriction. Compared to control animals, caloric restriction extended lifespan by 50% (from 6.4 to 9.6 years, median survival), reduced aging-associated diseases and preserved loss of brain white matter in  several  brain  regions.  However,  caloric  restriction  accelerated  loss  of  grey  matter throughout much of the cerebrum. Cognitive and behavioural performances were, however ,not modulated by caloric restriction. Thus chronic moderate caloric restriction can extend lifespan and enhance health of a primate, but it affects brain grey matter integrity without affecting cognitive performances.

Lifelong environmental enrichment in the absence of exercise protects the brain from age-related cognitive decline

Environmental enrichment decreases age related increases in inflammation and cell death. It protects against declining recognition, spatial and working memory while increasing blooddflow to the aging brain.

Environmental enrichment (EE) is defined as the addition of social, physical and somatosensory stimulation into an animal’s environment via larger group housing, extra objects and, often, running wheels…
To assess the effects of EE, in the absence of exercise, rats were housed in continuous enriched conditions for 20 months and memory assessed at young, middle aged and aged timepoints. MRI scans were also performed at these timepoints to assess regional changes in grey matter and blood flow with age, and effects of EE upon these measures. Results show an age-related decline in recognition, spatial and working memory that was prevented by EE…
This study demonstrates that sensory enrichment alone can ameliorate many features typical of the ageing brain, such as increases in apoptosis and pro-inflammatory markers. Furthermore, we provide novel data on enrichment-induced regional grey matter alterations and age-related changes in blood flow in the rat.

Age-related increases in parathyroid hormone may be antecedent to both osteoporosis and dementia

Higher parathyroid hormone is associated with greater P300 latency. P300 latency is a measure of an individuals reaction to a stimuli. Higher P300 is a predictor of cognitive decline.

Patients with parathyroid hormone levels <30 showed statistically significantly less P300 latency  relative to those with parathyroid hormone levels >30…
Participants with parathyroid hormone values <30 were found to have statistically significantly higher bone density than those with parathyroid hormone values >30 …
Our findings of a statistically lower bone density and prolonged P300 in patients with high parathyroid hormone levels may suggest that increased parathyroid hormone levels coupled with prolonged P300 latency may become putative biological markers of both dementia and osteoporosis and warrant intensive investigation.

Taurine Administration Recovers Motor and Learning Deficits in an Angelman Syndrome Mouse Model

Taurine improves learning difficulties and motor deficits in mouse model of Angelman Syndrome.

Angelman syndrome (AS, MIM 105830) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder…. Patients show moderate to severe intellectual disability, ataxia and absence of speech….
As taurine acts as an agonist of GABA-A receptors, we aimed at investigating whether it might ameliorate AS symptoms….
Treatment of Ube3am−/p+ mice with taurine significantly improved motor and learning skills and restored the levels of the post-synaptic PSD-95 and pERK1/2-ERK1/2 ratio to wild type values. No side effects of taurine were observed. Our study indicates taurine administration as a potential therapy to ameliorate motor deficits and learning difficulties in AS.