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    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, late-onset dementia with no effective treatment available. Recent studies suggest that AD pathology is driven by age-related changes in metabolism. Alterations in metabolism, such as placing patients on a ketogenic diet, can alter cognition by an unknown mechanism. One of the ketone bodies produced as a result of ketogenesis, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), is known to inhibit NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Therefore, we tested if BHB inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome reduces overall AD pathology in the 5XFAD mouse model of AD. Here, we find BHB levels are lower in red blood cells and brain parenchyma of AD patients when compared with non-AD controls. Furthermore, exogenous BHB administration reduced plaque formation, microgliosis, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (Asc) speck formation, and caspase-1 activation in the 5XFAD mouse model of AD. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that BHB reduces AD pathology by inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Additionally, our data suggest dietary or pharmacological approaches to increase BHB levels as promising therapeutic strategies for AD.


    Daniel C Shippy, Connor Wilhelm, Patel A Viharkumar, Thomas J Raife, Tyler K Ulland. β-Hydroxybutyrate inhibits inflammasome activation to attenuate Alzheimer's disease pathology. Journal of neuroinflammation. 2020 Sep 21;17(1):280

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    PMID: 32958021

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