In Alzheimer’s, two groups of proteins, the beta-amyloid and therefore the tau proteins get deposited within the brain of affected individuals, causing a plaque between the neurons.
the precise explanation for such deposition remains unclear but many environmental and genetic risk factors are related to its development.
Additionally, rapid progressive atrophy of the brain i.e. shrinkage of the brain is additionally seen. because the disease progresses patients tend to lose memory and begin having disorientation, problems with comprehension, and behavioral issues.
Scientists at the DZNE led by Prof. Michael Wagner, head of the research group, has found during a study that a daily Mediterranean-like dietary pattern with relatively more intake of green vegetables, legumes, fruit, cereals, fish, and monounsaturated fatty acids, like from vegetable oil, may protect against protein deposits which causes brain atrophy.
This diet advises a low intake of dairy products, meat, and saturated fatty acids.
A Nationwide Study:
A total of 512 subjects with a mean age of around seventy years took part in the study.
169 of them were cognitively healthy, while 343 were identified as having a better risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to subjective memory impairment, a mild cognitive impairment that’s the precursor to dementia with patients diagnosed with this fatal disease.
People in their later time of life have constant eating habits.
We analyzed whether the study participants regularly eat a Mediterranean diet and whether this might need an impression on brain health, said Prof. Michael Wagner.
The subject underwent screening through MRI to research the atrophy of the brain. Also, all the themes took neuropsychological tests to see the cognitive function and memory.
The researchers also searched for biomarkers, just like the beta-amyloid protein within the spinal fluid (CSF) of the individuals.
The researchers acknowledged that subjects who ate an unhealthy diet had more pathological levels of those biomarkers within the spinal fluid than those that regularly ate a Mediterranean-like diet.
within the memory test also, people that want to take a Mediterranean diet performed better than those that didn’t have fish and vegetables in their diet.
Researchers speculated that nutrients like omega-3 carboxylic acid, polyphenols, etc which are founds in Mediterranean diets in an additional amount, leads to a better volume of the hippocampus, which primarily controls the memory of the body and is found atrophied in patients of AD.
Continuation of the Study:
“It is plausible that the Mediterranean diet protects the brain from protein deposits and brain tissue atrophy which may cause amnesia and dementia,” explained Tommaso Ballarini, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Michael Wagner’s research group.
But to know the exact biological mechanism beneath this, more studies are required.
As a next step, Ballarini and Wagner now plan to re-examine the same study subjects in four to 5 years to explore how their nutrition -Mediterranean-like or unhealthy – affects brain aging over time.