A observational study published this month in the Archives of Neurology evaluated 1393 cognitively normal participants found that mild cognitive impairment and its progression to Alzheimer's disease (AD) were less common in older New Yorkers adhering to the so-called Mediterranean diet
The study was a multiethnic community study which investigated the association between adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MeDi) and the incidence of MCI as well as the progression from MCI to AD. All of the models were adjusted for cohort, age, sex, ethnicity, education, APOE genotype, caloric intake, body mass index, and duration between baseline dietary assessment and baseline diagnosis.
Among those who stuck most closely to the diet, the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment was reduced 28% relative to those with the poorest adherence. And those with mild cognitive impairment at study baseline were at 48% less risk of receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease over a mean 4.3-year period if they had good adherence to the diet, the researchers found.
The authors notes that the reductions were modest and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Nevertheless, they concluded that, "higher adherence to the MeDi is associated with a trend for reduced risk of developing MCI and with reduced risk of MCI conversion to AD."
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a predominance of fish, legumes, fruits, vegetables, cereals, unsaturated fats, and regular moderate alcohol consumption.Posted by rsk at February 10, 2009 08:51 AM