Mark Mattson, brain aging and calorie restriction at CR Way teleconference

Dr. Mark Mattson, Chief Neurobiologist, US National Institute on Aging, will be the featured expert at the next Brain Booster teleconference on Saturday, January 12, at 4:00 PM (ET).

Dr. Mattson and his lab colleagues were some of the first scientists to show that a low calorie diet protects the brain from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.  He also rocked the scientific community when he published papers showing that regular fasting without calorie restriction provides similar benefits to calorie restriction itself.

Like most members of, Dr. Mattson practices a calorie restriction regimen. He limits his daily caloric intake and exercises regularly. He also eats two and sometimes one meal a day. Like his well disciplined regimen, he arrives at his lab early in the morning and begins an intense work schedule that has produced many papers including his latest paper, which he promised to discuss at the teleconference:

   Recruiting adaptive cellular stress responses for successful brain ageing.

Stranahan AM, Mattson MP

Nature Reviews Neuroscience. Jan 18; 13(3):209-16. doi: 10.1038/nrn3151.

Physiology Department, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.


Successful ageing is determined in part by genetic background, but also by experiential factors associated with lifestyle and culture. Dietary, behavioral and pharmacological interventions have been identified as potential means to slow brain ageing and forestall neurodegenerative disease. Many of these interventions recruit adaptive cellular stress responses to strengthen neuronal networks and enhance plasticity. In this Science and Society article, we describe several determinants of healthy and pathological brain ageing, with insights into how these processes are accelerated or prevented. We also describe the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective actions of exercise and nutritional interventions, with the goal of recruiting these molecular targets for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disease.

PMID: 22251954 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

 Anyone who cares about successful brain aging must consider following a calorie restriction diet. It’s not enough to join a popular brain training program like Lumosity or Posit science if your diet or lifestyle work against  your training. The brain thrives under low calorie, low glucose conditions that are the hallmark of the CR Way. Once these are in place, improvement on brain training programs is greatly increased.

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