Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

The Physicians Committee

Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

March 12, 2015

Along with physical and mental exercise, diet may play a key role in the prevention of dementia, according to a study published in The Lancet. For two years, researchers tracked the cognitive health of 1,260 participants in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) study. The intervention included diet, exercise, and cognitive training compared to a control group who received standard health care. Nutritionists advised participants in the intervention group to limit fat intake and increase fiber consumption via fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The intervention group scored 25 percent higher on cognitive tests with a 150 percent increase in processing speed when compared to the control group. Intervention group participants also saw improvements in BMI and other health outcome measurements. This is the first randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of a multifaceted intervention on dementia, and shows the important role preventive measures such as diet have in alleviating rising dementia rates worldwide.

  Ngandu T, Lehtisalo J, Solomon A, et al. A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Published online on March 11, 2015.

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