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High-Fat Diets May Stall Brain Aging

Update Date: Nov 05, 2014 07:23 PM EST

Eating a high-fat diet helps keep the brain young, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen studied mice that had a defect in the DNA repair system. Researchers said that the same defect causes Cockayne syndrome in humans. People with the disorder prematurely age as children and die before they turn 12.

The latest findings revealed that placing a mouse model of Cockayne syndrome on a high-fat diet seemed to stall aging processes such as impaired hearing and weight loss.

"The study is good news for children with Cockayne syndrome, because we do not currently have an effective treatment. Our study suggests that a high-fat diet can postpone aging processes. A diet high in fat also seems to postpone the aging of the brain. The findings therefore potentially imply that patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in the long term may benefit from the new knowledge," lead researcher Professor Vilhelm Bohr from the Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen and the National Institute of Health, said in a news release.

"In cells from children with Cockayne syndrome, we have previously demonstrated that aging is a result of the cell repair mechanism being constantly active. It eats into the resources and causes the cell to age very quickly. We therefore hope that a diet with a high content of coconut oil or similar fats will have a beneficial effect, because the brain cells are given extra fuel and thus the strength to repair the damage," added postdoc Morten Scheibye-Knudsen from the National Institute of Health, according to a statement.

The findings are published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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