Lipid-based diets effectively combat Alzheimer’s disease in mouse model

Researchers have devised several lipid-based diets aimed at slowing down progression and relieving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease – ScienceDaily

It is generally accepted that lifestyle and particularly dietary habits influence mental health, and prevalence and progression of AD. Numerous epidemiological studies have revealed profitable effects of dietary intake of especially fish oil on cognitive decline during aging and dementia.

Within the EU-funded project LipiDiDiet (FP7-211696, therapeutic and preventive impact of nutritional lipids on neuronal and cognitive performance in aging, Alzheimer´s disease and vascular dementia, researchers devised several lipid-based diets aimed at slowing down progression and relieving symptoms of AD. Short-term (3 weeks) feeding of young adult APPswe/PS1dE9 mice (transgenic mouse model of AD) with experimental diets containing fish oil or stigmasterol reversed the decrease in responsiveness of hippocampal muscarinic receptors to acetylcholine compared to their non-transgenic littermates. Only fish oil based diet enriched with nutrients supporting neuroprotection (Fortasyn diet) increased in addition the density of muscarinic receptors and cholinergic synapses in the hippocampus.

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Image source: Janickova et al.

These findings yield important proof-of-principle evidence that regular intake of specific dietary components may help to prevent some of the key early functional changes that take place in the Alzheimer brain. These findings support viability of the dietary approach in AD.

Read the original research abstract here

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Prudent diet may attenuate the adverse effects of Western diet on cognitive decline

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2015.08.002

prudent diet

Background
The influence of mixed dietary patterns on cognitive changes is unknown.

Methods
A total of 2223 dementia-free participants aged ≥60 were followed up for 6 years to examine the impact of dietary patterns on cognitive decline. Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) was administrated. Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. By factor analysis, Western and prudent dietary patterns emerged. Mixed-effect models for longitudinal data with repeated measurements were used.

Results
Compared with the lowest adherence to each pattern, the highest adherence to prudent pattern was related to less MMSE decline (β = 0.106, P = .011), whereas the highest adherence to Western pattern was associated with more MMSE decline (β = −0.156, P < .001). The decline associated with Western diet was attenuated when accompanied by high adherence to prudent pattern.

Conclusion
High adherence to prudent diet may diminish the adverse effects of high adherence to Western diet on cognitive decline.

via Prudent diet may attenuate the adverse effects of Western diet on cognitive decline – Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mediterranean diet and preserved brain structural connectivity in older subjects

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Published Online: July 16, 2015

mediterranean diet

Background
The Mediterranean diet (MeDi) has been related to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease; yet, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We hypothesized that protection against neurodegeneration would translate into higher gray matter volumes, whereas a specific association with preserved white matter microstructure would suggest alternative mechanisms (e.g., vascular pathways).

Methods
We included 146 participants from the Bordeaux Three-City study nondemented when they completed a dietary questionnaire and who underwent a 3-T magnetic resonance imaging at an average of 9 years later, including diffusion tensor imaging.

Results
In multivariate voxel-by-voxel analyses, adherence to the MeDi was significantly associated with preserved white matter microstructure in extensive areas, a gain in structural connectivity that was related to strong cognitive benefits. In contrast, we found no relation with gray matter volumes.

Conclusions
The MeDi appears to benefit brain health through preservation of structural connectivity. Potential mediation by a favorable impact on brain vasculature deserves further research.

via Mediterranean diet and preserved brain structural connectivity in older subjects – Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.