Following a Mediterranean diet not associated with delay to clinical onset of Huntington's disease

Adhering to a Mediterranean-type diet (MedDi) does not appear associated with the time to clinical onset of Huntington disease (phenoconversion), according to a study by Karen Marder, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, N.Y., and colleagues.

The Mediterranean diet, a diet high in plant foods (e.g. fruits, nuts, legumes, and cereals) and fish, with olive oil as the primary source of monounsaturated fat (MUSF) and low to moderate intake of wine, as well as low intake of red meat, poultry, and dairy products, is known to be beneficial for health owing to its protective effects in many chronic diseases, according to the study background.

A of 41 Huntington study group sites in the United States and Canada involving 1,001 participants enrolled in the Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS) between July 1999 and January 2004 who were followed up every nine months until 2010, completed a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire administered 33 months after baseline. A total of 211 participants ages 26 to 57 years had an expanded CAG repeat length (?37), a certain genetic characteristic).

The highest was associated with the lowest adherence to MedDi. Thirty-one participants phenoconverted. In a model adjusted for age, CAG repeat length, and caloric intake, MeDi was not associated with phenoconversion. When individual components of MeDi were analyzed, higher (hazard ratio, 2.36) and higher caloric intake were associated with risk of phenoconversion, according to the study results.

"Our results suggest that studies of diet and energy expenditure in premanifest HD may provide data for both nonpharmacological interventions and pharmacological interventions to modify specific components of diet that may delay the onset of HD," the study concludes.

More information: JAMA Neurol. Published online September 2, 2013. DOI: 10.1001/.jamaneurol.2013.3487

Related Stories

Mediterranean diet seems to boost ageing brain power

date May 20, 2013

A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...

Recommended for you

India's bidi workers suffer for 1,000-a-day habit

date 7 hours ago

Zainab Begum Alvi and her band of young helpers hunch over baskets filled with tobacco flakes and dried leaves, trying to roll a thousand dirt-cheap cigarettes a day at the behest of India's powerful bidi barons.

Key to better sex ed: Focus on gender & power

date Apr 17, 2015

A new analysis by Population Council researcher Nicole Haberland provides powerful evidence that sexuality and HIV education programs addressing gender and power in intimate relationships are far more likely ...

Journal tackles aging policy issues raised by White House

date Apr 17, 2015

In anticipation of the forthcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has produced a special issue of The Gerontologist that outlines a vision for older adults' econom ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.