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Research Grants - 2005


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Research Grants 2005


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left side.

2005 Grant - Li

Excess Intake of Dietary Sugars in the Development of Alzheimer's Disease

Ling Li, D.V.M., Ph.D.
University of Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama

2005 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

A number of dietary factors that increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes may also be risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. These are modify-able factors. If you change the diet, you are likely to decrease the risk. In studies with genetically altered mice that develop an Alzheimer-like disorder, scien-tists have observed that diets high in fats accelerate the development of the Alzheimer-like pathology. Few studies of diets high in simple sugars have been conducted.

Ling Li, D.V.M., Ph.D., and colleagues are testing the hypothesis that a long-term intake of simple sugars, particularly those in liquid form, promotes the development of Alzheimer's disease. In a series of studies, the researchers will feed Alzheimer-like mice one of the following diets: (1) a control diet of healthy food and water, (2) a diet of healthy food and water with sugar, (3) healthy food and water with high fructose corn syrup, or (4) food with sugar added and regular water. Another line of Alzheimer-like mice with high cholesterol will have a healthy diet with sugar water.

The investigators will assess the effects of sugars, the means of sugar intake, and the potential interaction with cholesterol-related factors on the develop-ment of Alzheimer-like symptoms and pathology in the mice.

Depending on the result of these studies, the Ling research team will explore the molecular mechanisms by which dietary factors may exert adverse effects on cognition and Alzheimer pathology. The subsequent findings may contri-bute to a better understanding of how diet can be modified to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease.