Can Diet Prevent Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Decline? Study Hopes to Find Out

Can Diet Prevent Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Decline? Study Hopes to Find Out
Researchers at Rush and Harvard universities are preparing a pioneering clinical trial to evaluate the impact of diet in preventing cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in older people. The randomized Phase 3 trial (NCT02817074), titled “MIND Diet Intervention and Cognitive Decline,” will test whether a healthy diet that the researchers devised — based on a mix of the Mediterranean and DASH diet plans — can protect people from neurodegenerative ills. With support from a $14.5 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study will follow  an estimated 600 people, ages 65 to 84, for three years. Planned participants will be overweight and tending to favor suboptimal diets, two factors making them vulnerable to Alzheimer's. The study will take place at two different sites: Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, and Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston. It expects to begin recruiting soon. "We hope to determine whether a specific diet affects or prevents the development of Alzheimer's disease," Martha Clare Morris, ScD, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University and the study's principal investigator of the study, said in a press release. The MIND diet includes nine “brain-healthy food groups,” like chicken, fish, green leafy vegetables, berries and nuts; and five “unhealthy food groups,” namely red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets, and fried
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