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High-carb diets tend to raise Alzheimer’s risk

Published On: Sun, Oct 21st, 2012 | Alzheimer's | By BioNews

Seniors gorging on a carb rich diet are four times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment — an early warning of Alzheimer’s disease, shows a new research.

The research from the prestigious Mayo Clinic in America has found that risks are similar with a diet high in sugar. On the other hand, proteins and fats appear to offer some protection — people who consumed plenty of them are less likely to suffer cognitive decline.

Not everyone with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) develops Alzheimer’s disease, but many do, said Rosebud Roberts, professor of epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic, who led the study.

High-carb diets may play a role in the development of beta amyloid plaques, proteins found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

MCI is defined as memory loss apparent to the individual and those around them, but with an absence of other dementia symptoms such as changes in personality and mood.

There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in Britain and 60,000 deaths a year are directly attributable to it, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. It’s estimated around six percent of us will develop MCI.

Previous research suggested that 10-15 percent of people with MCI went on to develop dementia every year the research results were followed up.

In community studies and clinical trials the rates are about half this level, but still represent a significantly increased level of risk.

That’s why it’s so important to identify people with MCI, as they may be in the very early stages of the disease and more likely to benefit from early treatment in the future.

Mayo Clinic research tracked 1,230 people aged between 70 to 89 years and asked them to provide information on what they ate the previous year. However, proteins and fats appear to offer some protection – those who consumed plenty of them were less likely to suffer cognitive decline.

Reference:
Roberts RO, Roberts LA, Geda YE, Cha RH, Pankratz VS, O’Connor HM, Knopman DS,Petersen RC. Relative intake of macronutrients impacts risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012 Jan 1;32(2):329-39. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-120862. PubMed PMID: 22810099

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