Pinpointing the connection between diet and dementia

November 22, 2013, CORDIS
Pinpointing the connection between diet and dementia
Credit: Shutterstock

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disorder affecting between 50 percent and 70 percent of all dementia sufferers. As neurons are killed slowly yet progressively, sufferers experience memory loss and confusion, which worsens over time.

One European research project is making headway in determining how to reduce incidences by focusing on diet.

The EU project LIPIDIDIET ('Therapeutic and preventive impact of nutritional lipids on neuronal and in ageing, Alzheimer's disease and ') is developing a lipid-based diet that could delay or prevent the onset of the disease and other dementia-related disorders.

A diet focused on lipids such as omega-3 would also help maintain and support normal cognitive function as a person ages, and cut the risk of developing a cerebrovascular disorder, according to the project's partners.

Launched in 2008, LIPIDIDIET has since identified detailed dietary, lifestyle and , as well as combinations of these, which correlate with an increased or decreased risk of dementia.

The non-protein amino acid homocysteine, as well as obesity, coffee, tea and alcohol were typical of the factors investigated.

The project partners, coordinated by Saarland University in Germany, have also made huge headway in understanding the molecular and cellular pathways resulting in dementia. Genes, lipid metabolism and inflammation have been identified as factors.

Attacking the problem from a different angle, the team has also isolated new mechanisms by which amyloid molecules, known for triggering dementia, interfere with synaptic transmission (the passage of a neural impulse from one nerve fibre to another), cellular differentiation and function. Of major interest are their findings on how dietary lipids could potentially reduce this interference.

The results generated in this study have helped the LIPIDIDIET team establish dietary approaches and formulations that could prove beneficial in lowering the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

The data obtained by LipiDiDiet will help not only patients and doctors, but also relevant for the food industry, as researchers are able to back up health claims with scientific data. A healthier diet will also have the welcome side effect of boosting wellbeing as people get older.

Explore further: Research confirms Mediterranean diet is good for the mind

More information: Project factsheet: cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/88395_en.html

Related Stories

Research confirms Mediterranean diet is good for the mind

September 3, 2013
The first systematic review of related research confirms a positive impact on cognitive function, but an inconsistent effect on mild cognitive impairment

Outlining the risk factors to help prevent dementia

October 16, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Research shows that managing and treating vascular disease risk factors are not only beneficial to preventing heart disease and stroke, but also common forms of dementia.

Study finds late-life depression associated with increased risk for dementia

May 2, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Late-life depression is associated with an increased risk for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer's disease and, most predominantly, vascular dementia, according to the results of a new meta-analysis published ...

Blood biomarker could mark severe cognitive decline, quicker progression among Parkinson's patients

September 18, 2013
A genetic mutation, known as GBA, that leads to early onset of Parkinson's disease and severe cognitive impairment (in about 4 to 7 percent of all patients with the disease) also alters how specific lipids, ceramides and ...

Late-life depression associated with prevalent mild cognitive impairment, increased risk of dementia

December 31, 2012
Depression in a group of Medicare recipients ages 65 years and older appears to be associated with prevalent mild cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia, according to a report published Online First by Archives ...

No link between anesthesia, dementia in elderly

May 1, 2013
Elderly patients who receive anesthesia are no more likely to develop long-term dementia or Alzheimer's disease than other seniors, according to new Mayo Clinic research. The study analyzed thousands of patients using the ...

Recommended for you

Not being aware of memory problems predicts onset of Alzheimer's disease

February 15, 2018
Doctors who work with individuals at risk of developing dementia have long suspected that patients who do not realize they experience memory problems are at greater risk of seeing their condition worsen in a short time frame, ...

Researchers successfully reverse Alzheimer's disease in mouse model

February 14, 2018
A team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have found that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 completely reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's ...

Poor fitness linked to weaker brain fiber, higher dementia risk

February 14, 2018
Scientists have more evidence that exercise improves brain health and could be a lifesaving ingredient that prevents Alzheimer's disease.

Compound prevents neurological damage, shows cognitive benefits in mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

February 7, 2018
The supplement nicotinamide riboside (NR) – a form of vitamin B3 – prevented neurological damage and improved cognitive and physical function in a new mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. The results of the study, conducted ...

Positive attitudes about aging reduce risk of dementia in older adults

February 7, 2018
Research has shown that older persons who have acquired positive beliefs about old age from their surrounding culture are less likely to develop dementia. This protective effect was found for all participants, as well as ...

One in five older adults experience brain network weakening following knee replacement surgery

February 7, 2018
A new University of Florida study finds that 23 percent of adults age 60 and older who underwent a total knee replacement experienced a decline in activity in at least one region of the brain responsible for specific cognitive ...

0 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.