Alzheimer's News May 2021

Alzheimer’s News May 2021: A Mediterranean Diet Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

A recent study done by Prof. Michael Wagner, head of a research group at the DZNE – German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases sheds some light on preventing Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk young individuals.

The signs of cognitive decline are apparent from a young age. Those who happen to come in this category can avoid a major health setback by adopting a Mediterranean diet consisting mainly of fresh fish and vegetables. 

Consumption of red meat, greasy fast food, and dairy products has always been prevalent in the western part of the world. Such is not the case elsewhere. 

A Mediterranean diet mainly consists of fresh vegetables, nuts, rice, legumes, herbs, spices, seafood, potatoes, and whole grains.

This study by DZNE – German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases takes into account the diet of 512 subjects. 

Out of which, 169 subjects were cognitively healthy (control group) and the rest 343 were showing certain symptoms that led the researchers to believe that they could develop Alzheimer’s disease in the near future.

According to the study, mild cognitive impairment and memory impairment are thought to be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. 

Upon investigation, Prof. Wagner and his colleagues found out that the individuals in the experimental group had unhealthy eating practices. Individuals in both control and experimental groups were asked to fill up a questionnaire. 

They listed the 148 different foods they had eaten in the past few months. Based on the answers, each individual was assigned a score. Turns out those in the control group (who consumed a Mediterranean diet) scored collectively highly compared to their counterparts. 

Prof. Wagner, in collaboration with the Diet-Body-Brain competence cluster of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), will continue this study in the near future. 

They believe that a Mediterranean diet prevents the deposition of beta-amyloid proteins in the neurons located in the brain. As a result, the brain remains healthy without undergoing any physical changes (such as shrinkage).

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