Update: Calorie Restriction, Longevity, and Brain Health

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Calorie restriction has been associated with greater longevity, how does that affect the brain? Gail Stonebarger is currently collaborating with the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to determine whether calorie restriction (CR) of 30% is able to delay or slow brain aging in rhesus macaque monkeys. Previously, CR has been shown in various species to enhance cognition and metabolic function, extend lifespan, and, in this population, extend healthspan. In this talk, Gail will discuss normal and pathological brain aging, the unique population of very old monkeys housed at the NIA, what effects CR has on the brain, and will also include future directions of this research.

Gail is third year graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience PhD program at OHSU. As an undergraduate at Arizona State University, she studied the effects of various synthetic and endogenous sex hormones on cognitive function throughout development and aging in females. Currently she works with Henryk Urbanski at the Oregon national Primate Research Center where she studies the effects that both diet and age have on the brain, using physical brain protein labeling techniques combined with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) in vivo. After graduation, she plans to work in both science policy and science outreach to educate and influence the way that the public views science issues, as well as continuing to snowboard and hike regularly. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner and a heavy rotation of dogs they watch.