Scientists from Rush University Medical Center found that the MIND diet is linked to better cognitive performance in older people.
They found that older adults may benefit from the MIND diet even when they develop these protein deposits, known as amyloid plaques and tangles.
Plaques and tangles are a pathology found in the brain that builds up in between nerve cells and typically interferes with thinking and problem-solving skills.
The research is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and was conducted by Klodian Dhana et al.
Aging takes a toll on the body and on the mind. For example, the tissue of aging human brains sometimes develops abnormal clumps of proteins that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets.
Previous research studies have found that the MIND diet may reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia.
Now a study has shown that participants in the study who followed the MIND diet moderately later in life did not have cognition problems.
In the study, the team followed 569 participants, who were asked to complete annual evaluations and cognitive tests to see if they had developed memory and thinking problems.
Using the questionnaire answers, the researchers gave each participant a MIND diet score based on how often the participants ate specific foods.
The MIND diet has 15 dietary components, including 10 “brain-healthy food groups” and five unhealthy groups—red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.
The team found that a higher MIND diet score was associated with better memory and thinking skills independently of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and other common age-related brain pathologies.
The diet seemed to have a protective capacity and may contribute to cognitive resilience in the elderly.
Diet changes can impact cognitive functioning and the risk of dementia, for better or worse.
There are fairly simple diet and lifestyle changes a person could make that may help to slow cognitive decline with aging and contribute to brain health.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about how to prevent cognitive decline, and commonly used mental drugs may harm cognitive functions.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about healthier heart linked to better cognitive functions, and results showing these painkillers may increase fall risk in people with cognitive decline.
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