Healthy diet and exercise reduce Alzheimer’s-causing proteins

Healthy diet and exercise reduce Alzheimer’s-causing proteins

Healthy diet and exercise reduce Alzheimer’s-causing proteins, according to recent research from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The study found that people with mild memory problems who followed a Mediterranean diet, those who engaged in regular physical activity, or those with a healthy BMI were less likely to have buildup of beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain.

These proteins are the ones responsible for the loss of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. David Merrill, the leader of the study says that this is the first to show how diet and exercise affect the buildup of Alzheimer’s causing proteins.

The fact that we could detect this influence of lifestyle at a molecular level before the beginning of serious memory problems surprised us,” says Dr. Merrill.

The study abstract provided the following methods:

Volunteers (N = 44; mean age: 62.6 ± 10.7 years) with subjective memory impairment (N = 24) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI; N = 20) were recruited by soliciting for memory complaints. Levels of physical activity and extent of following a Mediterranean-type diet were self-reported. FDDNP-PET scans assessed plaque/tangle binding in Alzheimer disease–associated regions (frontal, parietal, medial and lateral temporal, posterior cingulate). Mixed models controlling for known covariates examined BMI, physical activity, and diet in relation to FDDNP-PET.

The team found that the participants with a healthy BMI, a Mediterranean diet, and had an active lifestyle had lower levels of plaques than the subjects who did not follow these lifestyle factors.

The authors concluded:

The study reinforces the importance of living a healthy life to prevent Alzheimer’s, even before the development of clinically significant dementia. This work lends key insight not only into the ability of patients to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but also physicians’ ability to detect and image these changes.”

The study showing that healthy diet and exercise reduce Alzheimer’s-causing proteins was published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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1. “Alzheimer’s-causing Proteins Could Be Reduced with a Healthy Diet, Exercise.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2016.
2. “Diet and Exercise Can Reduce Protein Build-ups Linked to Alzheimer’s, UCLA Study Shows.” UCLA Newsroom. UCLA, 16 Aug. 2016. Web. 01 Sept. 2016.
3. “Modifiable Risk Factors and Brain Positron Emission Tomography Measures of Amyloid and Tau in Nondemented Adults with Memory Complaints.” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2016.

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