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Hippocampus

Memory Loss, Dementia, Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean-style diet could protect against memory loss and dementia, according to a study published in the journal, Neurology.

The 512 participants, with an average age of 70, completed food frequency questionnaires and then given brain scans to determine brain volume, and neurological tests to examine their cognitive abilities and biomarkers for beta amyloid and tau  proteins that are thought to characterize Alzheimer’s disease.

People who ate an unhealthy diet (not identified in abstract) had higher markers of amyloid beta and tau proteins in their cerebrospinal fluid, compared to those who followed a Mediterranean diet.

The unhealthy –diet eaters also performed worse on memory tests than those who ate healthy foods.

Editor’s Note:

Participants who did not eat a healthy, Med-style diet were also found to have a smaller hippocampus volume (the area of brain responsible for thinking and memory) than those who did. The hippocampus is known to atrophy (shrink) in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Source:

Life Extension, September, 2021

Eating Fish for Brain Health

A study published in Neurology found that 1623 people over the age of 65 who eat more fish have lower risks of brain disease like vascular dementia, stroke, and a lower incidence of brain vessel damage. The researchers analyzed MRI brain scans and completed a diet questionnaire. Note: This association was strongest in people ages, 65-69, compared to older participants in the study.

Neurology, 2021.

Diabetes Screening Age Lowered from 40 to 35 for Overweight and Obese People.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has lowered the age at which overweight and obese people should begin screening for diabetes from 40 to 35. According to the Task Force, there is a spike in the prevalence of both diabetes and prediabetes around age 35. Lowering the screening age could help identify or prevent diabetes by adopting a healthier diet, exercise more, and lose weight.

Note: Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness among adults in the U.S.

JAMA, 2021; 326 (8):736-743

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