A study from UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior found that a healthy diet, regular physical exercise and normal body mass index can reduce the in-vivo accumulation speed of Alzheimer’s disease-related protein, which reduces the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. There are also other attempts of slowing down the disease using recombinant human proteins.
In this study, the researchers studied related information of 44 adults. The participants aged between 40-85 years (mean age 62.6 years). Participants all showed slight memory degradation but didn’t develop into dementia. The researchers took PET scanning technology to track relevant brain plaques and neurofibrillary tangles speed of participants. In addition, the researchers also collected participants’ body mass index, physical activity level, diet and other lifestyle-related information. Toxic proteins (i.e. β- amyloid) form plaques after deposition which mainly exist in the intercellular spaces of the brain nerves; neurofibrillary tangles, i.e. in part of the brain cells in Alzheimer’s patients, tau proteins (stabilize microtubules function) are knotted and show thread type, plaques, neurofibrillary tangles circumstances; all of these are considered a key indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.
The scanning results showed several healthy lifestyle that is healthy body mass index can actively participate in exercise activities and adhere to the Mediterranean diet, among which the Mediterranean diet refers to: intake fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, meat and fish, dairy products as well as lower levels of meat and high in monounsaturated fatty acid content, low saturated fatty acid content features, and mild to moderate alcohol consumption.
"In fact, before showing serious memory problems, we can find the effect of way of life on Alzheimer’s disease progression at the molecular level," Dr. David Merrill said. He was the first author of the study, and the research articles were published in the September issue of the journal American Journal of Geriatric psychiatry.