Environment, epigenetics and neurodegeneration: Focus on nutrition in Alzheimer's disease.

Abstract : Many different environmental factors (nutrients, pollutants, chemicals, physical activity, lifestyle, physical and mental stress) can modulate epigenetic markers in the developing and adult organism. Epigenetics, in turn, can cause and is associated with several neurodegenerative and aging-dependent human diseases. Alzheimer's disease certainly represents one of the most relevant neurodegenerative disorders due to its incidence and its huge socio-economic impact. Therefore, it is easy to understand why recent literature focuses on the epigenetic modifications associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. One of the most intriguing and, at the same time, worrying evidence is that even "mild" environmental factors (such as behavioral or physical stress) as well as the under-threshold exposure to pollutants and chemicals, can be effective. Finally, even mild nutrients disequilibria can result in long-lasting and functional alterations of many epigenetic markers, although they don't have an immediate acute effect. Therefore, we will probably have to re-define the current risk threshold for many factors, molecules and stresses. Among the many different environmental factors affecting the epigenome, nutrition represents one of the most investigated fields; the reasons are probably that each person interacts with nutrients and that, in turn, nutrients can modulate at molecular level the epigenetic biochemical pathways. The role that nutrition can exert in modulating epigenetic modifications in Alzheimer's disease will be discussed with particular emphasis on the role of B vitamins and DNA methylation.
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Vincenzina Nicolia, Marco Lucarelli, Andrea Fuso. Environment, epigenetics and neurodegeneration: Focus on nutrition in Alzheimer's disease.. Experimental Gerontology, Elsevier, 2015, 68, pp.8-12. ⟨10.1016/j.exger.2014.10.006⟩. ⟨pasteur-01182432⟩

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