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

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date 2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date 2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date 3 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date 6 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

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.