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Traditional Indian diet has the power to cut risks related to Alzheimer’s Disease

Fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and fish are associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, the study said

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Spice market India. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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New York, August 27, 2016: While consumption of meat, sweets, and high-fat dairy products that characterise a Western diet significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, traditional Indian diet is associated with reduced risk of the most common form of dementia, says a study.

“Although the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with about half the risk for Alzheimer’s disease of the Western diet, the traditional diets of countries such as India, Japan, and Nigeria, with very low meat consumption, are associated with an additional 50 percent reduction in risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study author William B Grant from Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, California.

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Fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and fish are associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the study said.

To determine dietary risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, the researcher reviewed journal literature.

Indian food. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Indian food. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Besides, an ecological study was also conducted using Alzheimer’s disease prevalence data from 10 countries including India along with dietary supply data 5, 10, and 15 years before the prevalence data.

The other countries from which data was taken include Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, Mongolia, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and the US.

Dietary supply of meat or animal products (minus milk) five years before Alzheimer’s disease prevalence had the highest correlations with Alzheimer’s disease prevalence in this study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

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The study discussed the specific risk each country and region faces for developing Alzheimer’s disease based on their associated dietary habits.

Residents of the US seem to be at particular risk, with each person having about a four per cent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, likely due in part to the Western dietary pattern, which tends to include a large amount of meat consumption.

“Reducing meat consumption could significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as of several cancers, diabetes mellitus Type-2, stroke, and, likely, chronic kidney disease,” Grant noted. (IANS)

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Scientists Develop Potential Approach to Treat Dementia, Stroke

"It also shows that these changes may be reversible, paving the way for potential treatments," Williams added

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The article provides information on the topic "Scientists Develop Potential Approach to Treat Dementia, Stroke". (IANS)

Stopping blood vessel cells from becoming dysfunctional may reverse the symptoms of small vessel disease (SVD) — major cause of dementia and stroke — and prevent brain damage in older adults, scientists have found.

The study, led by the University of Edinburgh, found that SVD occurs when cells that line the small blood vessels in the brain become dysfunctional causing them to secrete a molecule into the brain.

The molecule stops production of the protective layer that surrounds brain cells — called myelin — leading to brain damage.

“This important research helps us understand why small vessel disease happens, providing a direct link between small blood vessels and changes in the brain that are linked to dementia,” said Anna Williams from University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Scotland.

“It also shows that these changes may be reversible, paving the way for potential treatments,” Williams added.

1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay
1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay

In the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team used rat model and found that treating them with drugs that can reverse changes in blood vessels in the brain associated with cerebral small vessel disease.

“The findings highlight a promising direction for research into treatments that could limit the damaging effects of blood vessel changes and help keep nerve cells functioning for longer,” said Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research in Britain.

Also Read: Sleep Disorder Linked with Brain Changes Found in Dementia

However, further studies are needed to test whether the treatment also works when the disease is firmly established, researchers said.

Dementia is one of the biggest problems facing society, as people live longer and the population ages.

Estimates indicate there are almost 47 million people living with dementia worldwide and the numbers affected are expected to double every 20 years, rising to more than 115 million by 2050. (IANS)