Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Targeting Dietary Restriction-Associated Gut Microbiota to Prevent and Treat Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Pei-Yu Wang, PhD | Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; and Wei-Sheng Lin, MD | Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan
Competition Sponsor: Academia Sinica
Awardee Year: 2020

Cognitive decline is a critical health and social issue for aging populations in modern society.  Dietary restriction (DR, 20~40% reduction in daily food intake) has long been recognized as the most effective anti-aging intervention, and while DR enhances longevity and prolongs healthy lifespan, it also has remarkable positive impacts on cognition.  Because it is challenging to practice DR in our daily lives, this study aims to decipher the mechanisms underlying DR-induced benefits, and to identify potential druggable targets, providing data that will shed crucial light for the future treatment of age-related dysfunction.  DR has been shown to induce altered composition of gut microbiota, which is heavily implicated in cognitive regulation, through the so-called microbiota-gut-brain axis.  In this project, we hypothesize a critical role for gut microbiota in the mediation of DR-related benefits on the aging brain, and we aim to investigate the potential for this model in the prevention and treatment of age-related cognitive decline.  Our goal is to identify novel probiotics, microbiota-derived compounds, and host metabolites, with the potential to mitigate cognitive aging.

To learn more about this proposal, email

View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit.

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