We’ve had the Atkins’ Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and most recently the South Beach diet, and now you can get yourself on the Anti-Alzheimer’s Diet.
New research from Columbia University Medical Center in New York has shown that a particular diet is linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
The study authors maintain that although more and more evidence links what people eat with the likelihood of developing the debilitating disease, it has been difficult to pinpoint beneficial combinations of nutrients as we each eat widely varying quantities and types of foods.
To get sufficient data, the researchers asked more than 2,000 people aged 65 and above to provide information about their diets; they also assessed the individuals for signs of dementia. At the onset of the research none of the participants showed signs of dementia. The assessments were repeated every one and a half years for an average of four years after the first. Two hundred and fifty three people developed Alzheimer’s.
After analysing the diets of all the study participants, the researchers found that those who ate relatively large quantities of nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, fruit, cruciferous and green leafy vegetables, combined with low amounts of red meat, butter and other high-fat dairy products were less likely to develop the disease.
Also in the medical news are several studies that show new ways in which Alzheimer’s can be detected early. One, published in the Archives of Neurology, found that unintended weight loss can be an early indicator of the disease. Another group of researchers, from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Minnesota, have come up with a simple memory test which indicates hippocampal degradation, a sign of Alzheimer’s disease (as distinct from age-related memory loss). And scientists in Japan have come up with a spinal-fluid test that measures levels of the proteins that cause brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s sufferers.