PolEnEx - Polyphenols, Enriched Environment, and Exercise 


The aim of this project is to  test the overall hypothesis: A combination of a diet supplemented with polyphenols, enriched environment, and exercise (PolEnEx) provides healthy aging by improving mitochondrial function in mouse models of aging and AD. Specific aims to be addressed are: (1) PolEnEx attenuates physical and cognitive decline. (2) PolEnEx improves mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain (3) Evaluation of molecular mechanisms underlying PolEnEx. The project is supported by a reserach award from the Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V.

Supported by:


Aging of the brain is characterized by a decline in several physiological abilities, including sensory, motor and cognitive functions. Physiological changes that occur during the normal aging of the brain may be exacerbated in vulnerable populations of neurons, initiating pathological processes that finally lead to neurodegenerative disorders, especially to Alzheimer. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in brain aging and in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological and clinical studies identified the Mediterranean diet together with an active life-style as a promising approach for healthy aging and the prevention of Alzheimer`s disease. Components of the Mediterranean diet, especially grape and olive polyphenols are promising nutraceuticals in the brain and might contribute to the prevention from Alzheimer`s disease. Several preclinical studies reported that polyphenols, exercise and enriched environment counteract declining cognitive functions in aging and AD. Polyphenols, exercise and enriched environment have also been related to improved mitochondrial function in the brain. However, it has not been tested yet if a combination of a diet supplemented with polyphenols, exercise, and enriched environment synergistically counteracts mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain according to the concept of healthy aging for the prevention of AD.

Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.v. (AFI) 

Asseburg H, Schaefer C, Mueller M, Hagl S, Pohland M, Berressem D, Borchielline, M, Plank C, Eckert GP
Effects of grape skin extract on age-related mitochondrial dysfunction, memory and life span in C57BL/6J mice
NeuroMolecular Med, 2016, 18(3):378-95. [
Pubmed Abstract]

Hagl S, Asseburg H, Eckert GP
Nutritional approaches for healthy aging of the brain and the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases
In: Pharma Nutrition - An Overview (Eds. Garssen, J; Folkerts G), Springer, Stuttgart, 2014, ISBN 978-3-319-06150-4

© Prof. Dr. Gunter P. Eckert 2018