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Speaker at Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Conference 2023 - Rui Yuan Pan
Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, China
Title : Intermittent fasting protects against alzheimer’s pathology via the gut-microbiota-metabolites-brain axis


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia without effective clinical treatment. Here, we show that intermittent fasting (IF) improves cognitive functions and AD-like pathology in a transgenic AD mouse model (5XFAD). IF alters gut microbial composition with a significant enrichment in probiotics such as Lactobacillus. The changes in the composition of the gut microbiota affect metabolic activities and metabolite production. Metabolomic profiling analysis of cecal contents revealed IF leads to a decreased carbohydrate metabolism (e.g., glucose) and an increased abundance in amino acids (e.g., sarcosine and dimethylglycine). Interestingly, we found that the administration of IF-elevated sarcosine or dimethylglycine mimics the protective effects of IF in 5XFAD mice, including the amelioration of cognitive decline, amyloid-β (Aβ) burden, and glial over-activation. Our findings thus demonstrate an IF regimen is a potential approach to prevent AD progression at least through gut-microbiota-metabolites-brain axis, and constitutes an innovative AD therapeutic avenue.

Audience Takeaway:

  • Intermittent fasting (IF) regimen improves cognitive functions and AD-like pathology in 5XFAD mice.
  • Gut microbiota is required for the beneficial effects of IF against AD.
  • IF-enriched metabolites sarcosine and dimethylglycine prevent AD progression.


Rui-Yuan Pan studied Biological Science at the Minzu University of China and received his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience at Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China in 2020. Dr. Pan is now training as a postdoctoral researcher in the Brian Science Center, Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing, China. His researches focus on the pathogenesis of AD, especially the metabolic regulation of glial functions in neurodegenerative diseases, aiming to identify targets and develop candidate drugs for the diseases. His works have been published in Cell Metabolism, Science Advances etc.