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Ketogenic Diet, Aging, and Neurodegeneration 

Ketogenic Diet, Aging, and Neurodegeneration
Ketogenic Diet, Aging, and Neurodegeneration

Kui Xu

, Joseph C. LaManna

, and Michelle A. Puchowicz

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date: 24 February 2020

The brain is normally completely dependent on glucose, but is capable of using ketones as an alternate energy source, as occurs with prolonged starvation or chronic feeding of a ketogenic diet. Research has shown that ketosis is neuroprotective against ischemic insults in rodents. This review focuses on investigating the mechanistic links to neuroprotection by ketosis in the aged. Recovery from stroke and other pathophysiological conditions in the aged is challenging. Cerebral metabolic rate for glucose, cerebral blood flow, and the defenses against oxidative stress are known to decline with age, suggesting dysfunction of the neurovascular unit. One mechanism of neuroprotection by ketosis involves succinate-induced stabilization of hypoxic inducible factor-1alpha (HIF1α‎) and its downstream effects on intermediary metabolism. The chapter hypothesizes that ketone bodies play a role in the restoration of energy balance (stabilization of ATP supply) and act as signaling molecules through the up-regulation of salvation pathways targeted by HIF1α‎.

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