Mediterranean diet linked to Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment

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By Jimmy Downs

Saturday Oct 06, 2012 ( -- A new study in Translational Psychiatry suggests eating Mediterranean diet (MeDi) may help prevent Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment MCI).

Mediterranean diet has been associated in prior research with a low morbidity and mortality for many chronic diseases including heart disease, metabolic syndrome and cancer.

Professor R Martins at Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care, Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia and colleagues found adherence to the Mediterranean diet  was the main predictor for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive decline in their statistical analyses after adjustment for a range of other factors.

The study was intended to establish an association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment in elderly Australian men and women involved in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing cohort.

After adjusting "cohort age, sex, country of birth, education, apolipoprotein E genotype, total caloric intake, current smoking status, body mass index, history of diabetes, hypertension, angina, heart attack and stroke," Professor Martins found a significant difference in adherence to the Mediterranean diet between healthy controls and Alzheimer's disease patients and in adherence between healthy controls and mild cognitive impairment.

The researchers concluded "in this Australian cohort, AD and MCI participants had a lower adherence to the MeDi than HC participants."

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