Rising neurodegenerative and depressive disease prevalence combined with the lack of effective pharmaceutical treatments and dangerous side effects, has created an urgent need for the development of effective therapies. Considering that these disorders are multifactorial in origin, treatments designed to interfere at different mechanistic levels may be more effective than the traditional single-targeted pharmacological concepts. To that end, an experimental diet composed of zinc, melatonin, curcumin, piperine, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5, n-3), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6, n-3), uridine, and choline was formulated. This diet was tested on the olfactory bulbectomized rat (OBX), an established animal model of depression and cognitive decline. The ingredients of the diet have been individually shown to attenuate glutamate excitoxicity, exert potent anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory properties, and improve synaptogenesis; processes that all have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases and in the cognitive deficits following OBX in rodents. Dietary treatment started 2 weeks before OBX surgery, continuing for 6 weeks in total. The diet attenuated OBX-induced cognitive and behavioral deficits, except long-term spatial memory. Ameliorating effects of the diet extended to the control animals. Furthermore, the experimental diet reduced hippocampal atrophy and decreased the peripheral immune activation in the OBX rats. The ameliorating effects of the diet on the OBX-induced changes were comparable to those of the NMDA receptor antagonist, memantine, a drug used for the management of Alzheimer's disease. This proof-of-concept study suggests that a diet, which simultaneously targets multiple disease etiologies, can prevent/impede the development of a neurodegenerative and depressive disorders and the concomitant cognitive deficits.
Keywords: Anosmia; Cognition; Depression; Dietary intervention; Hippocampus; Inflammation; Memantine; Neurodegeneration; Neuroprotection; Olfactory bulbectomy.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.