Retardation of cognitive aging by life-long diet restriction: Implications for genetic variance

Alicja L. Markowska, Alena Savonenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Long-term moderate dietary restriction (DR) has been reported to extend life spans, delay the onset and decrease the incidence of a broad spectrum of age-associated diseases; however, its effect on cognition is still unclear. Our previous results indicated that long-term DR failed to retard cognitive and psychomotor aging in the inbred strain, Fischer-344 rats [18]. In the present experiment, an anti-aging effect of DR on various types of cognitive and sensorimotor behaviors was found in F1 hybrid Fischer-344 X Brown Norway (F-344 X BN) rats, while no effect of DR was detected in the second parental inbred strain, Brown-Norway (BN) rats. These findings show that the lack of an effect of DR on cognitive aging, which was previously found in Fischer-344 rats, is not a universal phenomenon. Instead, the effect of DR may depend upon the genetic makeup of the animals. Thus, a more diverse genetic milieu, such as in hybrid rats, relative to inbred rats, may increase the susceptibility to an effect of DR on age-related cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Brown Norway
  • Diet restriction
  • F1 hybrid
  • Fischer-344
  • Genetic variance
  • Inbred
  • Memory
  • Outbred
  • Rats
  • Retardation of aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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