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  2. Mar 1, 2017

Brain Imaging Reveals Dietary Factors Affecting Brain Size in the Elderly

Study in a Sentence: By assessing brain volumes with brain imaging and dietary intake with food frequency questionnaires in 562 Scottish seniors (age 73-76), researchers found that lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet (previously shown to be protective against dementia) was associated with greater reduction in total brain volume after three years. The beneficial effects were not associated with the meat and fish consumption in the Mediterranean diet.

Healthy for Humans: Human studies help identify modifiable lifestyle factors driving chronic diseases and provide less invasive interventions (e.g., dietary change) for disease treatment or prevention.  

Redefining Research: The human brain can be studied with noninvasive techniques such as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used in this study to reveal human disease relevant relationships between human pathology and environmental exposures.


  1. Luciano M, Corley J, Cox SR, et al. Mediterranean-type diet and brain structural change from 73 to 76 years in a Scottish cohort. Neurology. 2017;88:449-455. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003559.

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