By leading a brain-healthy lifestyle, you may be able to prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and slow down, or even reverse, the. Prevention and risk of Alzheimer's and other dementias – learn about studies reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease in older people (ages 65 to 85) at high risk . As the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, there's no certain way to prevent the condition. But a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk.
Alzheimer’s Disease Prevents
Now there's growing evidence that the same is true for your brain. A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago shows a diet plan they developed -- appropriately called the MIND diet -- may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53 percent. Even those who didn't stick to the diet perfectly but followed it "moderately well" reduced their risk of Alzheimer's by about a third.
Diet appears to be just one of "many factors that play into who gets the disease," said nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, PhD, the lead author of the MIND diet study. Genetics and other factors like smoking, exercise and education also play a role. But the MIND diet helped slow the rate of cognitive decline and protect against Alzheimer's regardless of other risk factors.
It found participants whose diets most closely followed the MIND recommendations had a level of cognitive function the equivalent of a person 7. The MIND diet breaks its recommendations down into 10 "brain healthy food groups" a person should eat and five "unhealthy food groups" to avoid.
It combines many elements of two other popular nutrition plans which have been proven to benefit heart health: But the MIND diet also differs from those plans in a few significant ways and proved more effective than either of them at reducing the risk of Alzheimer's. Click through to see which foods to eat -- and which ones to avoid -- for optimal brain health. The MIND diet recommends frequent servings of green leafy vegetables. Kale, spinach, broccoli, collards and other greens are packed with vitamins A and C and other nutrients.
At least two servings a week can help, and researchers found six or more servings a week provide the greatest brain benefits.
The Mediterranean and DASH diets do not specifically recommend these types of vegetables, but the MIND diet study found that including greens in addition to other veggies made a difference in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's.
Like other diets focused on weight loss and heart health, the MIND diet emphasizes the importance of vegetables for brain health. The researchers recommend eating a salad and at least one other vegetable every day to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Nuts are a good snack for brain health, according to the MIND diet study. Nuts contain healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants, and other studies have found they can help lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The MIND diet recommends eating nuts at least five times a week. Berries are the only fruit specifically recommended in the MIND diet. She noted that strawberries have also shown benefits in past studies looking at the effect of food on cognitive function.
The MIND diet recommends eating berries at least twice a week. If beans aren't a regular part of your diet, they should be. High in fiber and protein, and low in calories and fat, they also help keep your mind sharp as part of the MIND diet.
The researchers recommend eating beans three times a week to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. The MIND diet study found eating fish at least once a week helps protect brain function. However, there's no need to go overboard; unlike the Mediterranean diet, which recommends eating fish almost every day, the MIND diet says once a week is enough. Poultry is another part of a brain-healthy eating plan, according to the MIND diet. It recommends two or more servings a week.
Olive oil beat out other forms of cooking oil and fats in the MIND diet. The researchers found people who used olive oil as their primary oil at home saw greater protection against cognitive decline. Wine rounds out the list of of 10 "brain healthy" food groups that help protect against Alzheimer's: Now here are the five food groups it says you should avoid to reduce your risk of developing dementia Red meat isn't banned in the MIND diet, but the researchers say you should limit consumption to no more than four servings a week to help protect brain health.
That's more generous than the Mediterranean diet, which restricts red meat to just one serving a week. Butter and stick margarine should be limited to less than a tablespoon per day on the MIND diet. Brain-healthy olive oil can often be used instead. This current medication uses a slightly different approach as it blocks the production of the enzyme rather than blocking the enzyme itself.
The researchers believe that 3K3A-APC might be most beneficial during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease before there is significant beta-amyloid buildup. Having reviewed earlier experiments looking at the role of BACE1, the authors write, "Collectively, these studies suggest that the optimal timing for treatment of [beta-amyloid] pathology with BACE1 inhibitors is early in the disease course, before widespread [beta-amyloid] plaque formation occurs.
As ever, before a new treatment can make it to market, much more research will be necessary in other animal models and, eventually, humans. As Alzheimer's is currently untreatable, finding a new way to approach the disease is invaluable. These results are exciting and, no doubt, follow-up work will be underway shortly.
MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
Privacy Terms Ad policy Careers. This page was printed from: Get the most out of Medical News Today. Subscribe to our Newsletter to recieve: Professionally-verified articles Daily or weekly updates Content custom-tailored to your needs Create an account. More Sign up for our newsletter Discover in-depth, condition specific articles written by our in-house team.
Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Fact checked by Isabel Godfrey. Researchers are trialing a new treatment that may help people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease. A lack of deep sleep could indicate Alzheimer's development. A recent study suggests that adults who do not get enough deep sleep might be slowly developing Alzheimer's.
Latest news Does the birth control pill stop you from recognizing emotions? New research suggests that the use of oral contraceptives may impair a person's ability to recognize facial expressions relating to complex emotions. Simple drug formula regenerates brain cells. Scientists have shown how a drug cocktail of four compounds can convert glia, or support cells, next to damaged neurons into new working neurons.
Breast cancer screening saved over 27, lives in A new study estimates that breast cancer mortality rates have fallen by approximately half in the United States in , thanks to screening and therapy. A step toward better treatment? Current treatments for alcohol use disorder are unsatisfactory, but recent research points toward a new intervention that may also benefit mood disorders. What role does the gut play in Parkinson's disease?
A review of existing research has examined the evidence for a connection between the gastrointestinal system and the progression of Parkinson's disease. Could gut bacteria play a role? What are the signs of early-onset Alzheimer's?
4 Pillars of Prevention®
What can you do to prevent Alzheimer's disease? Read the latest evidence for promising prevention strategies, including physical activity. Alzheimer's is one of the diseases people most want to avoid, and for good reason. There is no proven way to prevent it. But there's a lot you can do to lower . Not yet. But there's strong evidence that several factors associated with leading a healthy lifestyle may play a role in reducing your risk of Alzheimer's disease.