Tuesday October 16, 2018

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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Novel AI Tool May help to Predict Alzheimer’s risk

Globally, around 50 million people have dementia and the total number is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 in 2050, according to the World Health Organization

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New AI tool can predict Alzheimer's risk. Pixabay

A team of scientists, including one of an Indian-origin, has successfully trained a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that may soon help doctors to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease and provide intervention.

The team, from the McGill University in Canada, designed an algorithm that learns signatures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), genetics, and clinical data.

This specific algorithm can help predict whether an individual’s cognitive faculties are likely to deteriorate towards Alzheimer’s in the next five years.

“At the moment, there are limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence we have is for prevention. Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a ‘doctor’s assistant’ that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment,” Mallar Chakravarty, assistant professor at the University’s Department of Psychiatry.

“For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it altogether,” she added.

Alzheimer's
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory, Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, the team trained their algorithms using data from more than 800 people ranging from normal healthy seniors to those experiencing mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease patients.

“We are currently working on testing the accuracy of predictions using new data. It will help us to refine predictions and determine if we can predict even farther into the future,” Chakravarty noted.

With more data, doctors would be able to better identify those in the population at greatest risk for cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s.

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Globally, around 50 million people have dementia and the total number is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 in 2050, according to the World Health Organization.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, may contribute to 60-70% of cases. Presently, there is no truly effective treatment for this disease. (IANS)