How MIND diet slows cog­ni­tive de­cline in stroke sur­vivors

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - HEALTH NEWS -

Adiet cre­ated by re­searchers at Rush Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter may help sub­stan­tially slow cog­ni­tive de­cline in stroke sur­vivors, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary re­search pre­sented on Jan. 25 at the Amer­i­can Stroke As­so­ci­a­tion’s In­ter­na­tional Stroke Con­fer­ence 2018 in Los An­ge­les. The find­ings are sig­nif­i­cant be­cause stroke sur­vivors are twice as likely to de­velop de­men­tia com­pared to the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion.

The diet, known as the MIND diet, is short for Mediter­ranean-dash Diet In­ter­ven­tion for Neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive De­lay. The diet is a hy­brid of the Mediter­ranean and DASH (Di­etary Ap­proaches to Stop Hy­per­ten­sion) di­ets. Both have been found to re­duce the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar con­di­tions such as hy­per­ten­sion, heart at­tack and stroke.

“The foods that pro­mote brain health, in­clud­ing veg­eta­bles, berries, fish and olive oil, are in­cluded in the MIND diet,” said Dr. Lau­rel J. Che­rian, a vas­cu­lar neu­rol­o­gist and as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in Rush’s De­part­ment of Neu­ro­log­i­cal Sciences. “We found that it has the po­ten­tial to help slow cog­ni­tive de­cline in stroke sur­vivors.”

Che­rian is the lead au­thor of the study, which was funded by the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Ag­ing (grant numbers R01AG054476 and R01AG17917).

Study co-au­thor Martha Clare Mor­ris, SCD, a Rush nu­tri­tional epi­demi­ol­o­gist, and her col­leagues de­vel­oped the MIND diet based on in­for­ma­tion from years of re­search about what foods and nu­tri­ents have good, and bad, ef­fects on the func­tion- ing of the brain. The diet has been as­so­ci­ated with re­duced Alzheimer’s risk in se­niors who ad­hered to its rec­om­men­da­tions. Even peo­ple who mod­er­ately ad­hered had re­duced risk of AD and cog­ni­tive de­cline.

Rush is cur­rently seek­ing vol­un­teers to par­tic­i­pate in the study (­i­cal-tri­als/ef­fect-weight-loss-di­ets­brain-health-and-cog­ni­tivede­cline-study), which aims to show whether a spe­cific diet can pre­vent cog­ni­tive de­cline and brain changes with age.

The MIND diet has 15 di­etary com­po­nents, in­clud­ing 10 “brain-healthy food groups” and five un­healthy groups — red meat, but­ter, cheese, pas­tries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

To ad­here to and ben­e­fit from the MIND diet, a per­son would need to eat at least three serv­ings of whole grains, a green leafy veg­etable and one other veg­etable every day — along with a glass of wine — snack most days on nuts, have beans every other day or so, eat poul­try and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. The diet also spec­i­fies lim­it­ing in­take of the des­ig­nated un­healthy foods, lim­it­ing but­ter to less than 1 1/2 tea­spoons a day and eat­ing less than five serv­ings a week of sweets and pas­tries, and less than one serv­ing per week of whole fat cheese, and fried or fast food.

“I was re­ally in­trigued by the re­sults of a pre­vi­ous MIND study, which showed that the peo­ple who were most highly ad­her­ent to the MIND diet cog­ni­tively func­tioned as if they were 7.5 years younger than the least ad­her­ent group,” Che­rian said.

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