Your body wants a schedule: Researchers find that eating at the same time every day helps fight cognitive decline
01/08/2018 // Zoey Sky // Views

We've often been told that we shouldn't skip meals, but did you know that following a regular eating schedule can help fight dementia?

According to a study, "regular meals improve gene expression in the region of the brain associated with body control, which often degenerates in Huntington's disease (HD); a form of dementia."

Simply following a regular eating schedule can even boost one's sleep quality and heart health, both of which are linked to HD. The researchers add that the study's results can help individuals diagnosed with the incurable disease improve their quality of life.

Professor Christopher Colwell, a study author from the University of California, Los Angeles, said, "HD is a genetically caused disease with no known cure. Lifestyle changes that not only improve the quality of life but also delay disease progression for HD patients are greatly needed."

At least 30,000 people in the U.S. and at least 6,700 in the U.K. are diagnosed with Huntington's.

For the study, Professor Colwell et al. observed mice with a restricted food availability. They studied six-month-old animals that were genetically altered "to have a rodent form of HD."

The first group of mice was only fed at night since mice are nocturnal. The second group had access to food that they could eat at any time they wanted to. Professor Colwell comments that humans usually eat in the morning and that we often don't eat at night.

The results of the study revealed that following regular meal plans can "improve gene expression" in the striatum, or the region of the brain linked with body control which often degenerates in patients with HD. (Related: Clean Eating 101: Simple Rules To Live A Healthy And Clean Lifestyle.)


The first group of mice with a regular feeding schedule showed an improved ability to perform certain acts that require balance such as running on a treadmill and balancing on a beam. It also helped improve their heart rate, which is an indicator of cardiovascular health.

Professor Colwell commented, "Furthermore, we found improved heart rate variability, suggesting their nervous system dysfunction was improved." He continued, "Importantly, treated mice exhibited improved motor performance compared to untreated controls."

The professor notes that regular feeding schedules could be significant in the treatment of individuals struggling with the symptoms of HD. It could even be used to help develop more efficient "treatment options for neurodegenerative disorders."

Professor Colwell shares that since HD is "a genetically caused disease with no known cure," it is possible that making lifestyle changes can both improve the quality of life and even halt the disease progression for patients with HD patients.

According to the professor, lifestyle changes can possibly be "preventative and therapeutic" for certain diseases linked to aging, like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and "increasingly neurodegenerative disorders." He shares that caloric restriction has also often helped prolong the life spans and protect individuals against different kinds of pathological conditions.

Managing the symptoms of Huntington's disease

Aside from following regular eating schedules, consider some of the remedies below to help ease the symptoms of Huntington's:

  • Green tea – Green tea can help reduce the psychological effects of HD by minimizing stress and anxiety on the brain.
  • Vitamin E – Increasing your daily intake of vitamin E will help stimulate neurological connections and patterns, which can delay the decline of the mind in patients.
  • Physical activity – Patients with HD can engage in physical activity to halt the progress of the disease. With exercise, one releases certain endorphins and hormones that help can stimulate the brain and prevent it from breaking down.
  • Meditation – While there is no cure for HD, trying to relax your body and mind is another way to delay its advance. Meditation and yoga can help people improve their mental health and stability.

You can learn more about superfoods and other natural cures at


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