Adhering to a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may protect the aging brain from Alzheimers disease, according to new research published in the journal Neurology. The three-year brain imaging study looked for Alzheimers disease-associated brain changes in 70 cognitively normal adults ages 30 to 60 years. Participants whose diets were closer to a Mediterranean style of eating showed fewer negative brain changes over the course of the study than those with lower adherence to this dietary pattern.
Currently available medical treatments for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimers disease have had limited success. Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle has been among the most consistent recommendations to maintain brain health over the long term. Some studies have linked an overall healthy dietary pattern to less chance of experiencing age-related decline in memory and other cognitive skills.
Alcohol use disorders are strongly linked to risk of dementia in people less than age 65, according to a study in Lancet Public Health. More commonly referred to as alcoholism, alcohol use disorder means a persistent pattern of harmful alcohol use or dependence on alcohol.
Q. Whats the difference between studies that show an association and those that show cause and effect.
Consuming nuts can help improve cholesterol levels and protect your heart and arteries, which is also good for your brain. Some studies also have looked specifically at possible cognitive benefits from nuts. So, which nuts are the best nuts to eat regularly?
Given long-time frames of conditions such as Alzheimers disease and other dementias, its challenging to prove any cause and effect relationship between specific foods and brain health. Most such associations are drawn from observational studies, in which people who eat more or less of a certain food are assessed over time for cognitive changes.
Simple carbohydrates are made up of one(single) or two (double) sugar molecules. When most people think of simple carbohydrates, they think of sucrose (a double sugar), the stuff you sprinkle on cereal or spoon into your coffee. But thats only the most familiar simple carbohydrate.
The researchers speculated that HDL cholesterol might protect cognitive function by reducing the risk for stroke and vascular disease, or HDL could moderate beta-amyloid, which is associated with plaques in the brain. Additionally, HDL may have anti-inflammatory or antioxidant effects, which could help to prevent the degeneration of the brains neurons.
At the end of three months, the calorie cutting group scored an average of 20 percent better in tests of memory performance; the other groups showed no change. Researchers theorized that the calorie-cutters, who lost four to seven pounds, might experience brain benefits from decreased insulin and inflammation.
MyPlate for Older Adults calls attention to the unique nutritional and physical activity needs associated with advancing years, emphasizing positive choices. It shows how older adults might follow a healthy dietary pattern that builds on the MyPlate graphic.