Dementia is associated with a range of symptoms of brain deterioration, the most common cause of dementia being Alzheimer’s disease – a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.
It is generally seen as an inevitable consequence of the aging process, but this is a common misconception. In fact, by taking steps early, cognitive decline later in life can be reduced.
Research continues to shed light on our understanding of the relationship between diet and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
One promising finding was recently published in the journal Alzheimer’s Disease, in which researchers studied the role that dietary decisions play in fluid intelligence (FI).
FI refers to the basic processes involved in solving abstract problems without prior knowledge.
Age-related declines in FI increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and recent studies suggest that certain diets may influence rates of decline.
However, it is uncertain how long-term food consumption affects FI among adults with or without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.
To fill in the gaps, the researchers examined how an inclusive diet relates to long-term cognition between middle-to-late age groups at risk for Alzheimer’s and those at risk for the disease.
Among 1,787 middle- to late-aged adult participants in the UK Biobank, 10-year FI trajectories were designed and mapped to dietary decisions based on intake of 49 self-reported whole foods from a food frequency questionnaire.
After performing their analysis, the researchers found that daily cheese intake “aggressively” predicted better outcomes for the FI pathway over time.
Furthermore, eating lamb meat weekly was associated with improved outcomes.
Among the high-risk groups, the added salt was associated with decreased performance, the researchers added.
In their closing remarks, the researchers said: “Modifying meal plans may help reduce cognitive decline. We observed that added salt may put individuals at greater risk, but we did not observe similar interactions between FH [التاريخ العائلي لمرض ألزهايمر] and individual cases. Observations in risk-status-dependent behaviors also suggest that adding cheese to the diet daily, and lamb meat on a weekly basis, may also improve long-term cognitive outcomes.”