Eating at the same time every day may help combat dementia, new research reveals.
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, a study found.
Such eating habits also boost sleep quality and heart health, which are both related to HD, in mice with the condition, the research adds.
Researchers believe the findings will also apply to humans and may improve the quality of life for patients with such incurable diseases.
Study author Professor Christopher Colwell, from The University of California, LA, 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.'
HD affects nearly 30,000 people in the US and at least 6,700 in the UK.
Eating at the same time each day may help combat dementia, new research reveals (stock)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare, inherited disorder that causes sufferers to experience behavioral disturbances, mental deterioration and uncontrollable movements.
It occurs due to the breakdown of cells in one region of the brain, known as the striatum.
Symptoms typically occur in middle age, with around 90 percent of patients suffering jerky, involuntary movements.
They may also experience depression, irritability and anxiety.
HD has no cure.
The average life expectancy following diagnosis is between 10 and 30 years.
How the research was carried out
The researchers restricted mice's food availability in six-month-old animals genetically engineered to have a rodent form of HD.
One group of mice were only given food during a six-hour period when they