Will caloric restriction and folate protect against AD and PD?

Mark P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Recent epidemiologic studies of different sample populations have suggested that the risk of AD and PD may be increased in individuals with high-calorie diets and in those with increased homocysteine levels. Dietary restriction and supplementation with folic acid can reduce neuronal damage and improve behavioral outcome in mouse models of AD and PD. Animal studies have shown that the beneficial effects of dietary restriction result, in part, from increased production of neurotrophic factors and cytoprotective protein chaperones in neurons. By keeping homocysteine levels low, folic acid can protect cerebral vessels and can prevent the accumulation of DNA damage in neurons caused by oxidative stress and facilitated by homocysteine. Although further studies are required in humans, the emerging data suggest that high-calorie diets and elevated homocysteine levels may render the brain vulnerable to neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-695
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 25 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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