Diet and Exercise Can Reduce Protein Build-ups Linked to Alzheimer’s, UCLA Study Shows

It is no secret that a healthy diet and regular exercise are beneficial to health, reducing the risk of obesity and its associated diseases. Now, a new study suggests these lifestyle factors have the potential to reduce progression to Alzheimer's disease.

Published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the study found people with mild memory problems who followed a Mediterranean diet, engaged in regular physical activity, or who had a normal body mass index (BMI) were less likely to experience a buildup of beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain.

More specifically, in the study, 44 adults ranging in age from 40 to 85 (mean age: 62.6) with mild memory changes but no dementia underwent an experimental type of PET scan to measure the level of plaque and tangles in the brain. Plaque, deposits of a toxic protein called beta-amyloid in the spaces between nerve cells in the brain; and tangles, knotted threads of the tau protein found within brain cells, are considered the key indicators of Alzheimer’s.

The study found that each one of several lifestyle factors — a healthy body mass index, physical activity and a Mediterranean diet — were linked to lower levels of plaques and tangles on the brain scans. (The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish and low in meat and dairy, and characterized by a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats, and mild to moderate alcohol consumption.)

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► The study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry>>

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#Alzheimer_disease, #exercise , #FDDNP , #PET , #research , #neuroscience , #mediterranean_diet , #health , #brain
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