For decades, the progressive damage to brain cells and the connections between them that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with abnormalities in two brain proteins: clumps of the protein fragment beta-amyloid into plaques and twisted strands of the protein tau into tangles. Over the past decade, scientists have been getting closer to a better understanding of why the brain develops these hallmark changes. Among the contributing causes, as reviewed in a recently released online article May 2016 in the journal Physiology & Behavior is accumulating evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a metabolic disease—a disease of how the brain responds to insulin, utilizes glucose, and metabolizes energy. Alzheimer’s disease may be a form of diabetes of the brain.
Although several genes have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a growing body of research is showing that lifestyle factors, including your diet, can significantly influence your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported on the MIND diet, the latest in the arsenal for improving how your brain ages.
Developed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet borrows elements from the heart healthy Mediterranean diet and the blood pressure lowering DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.