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Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Oct 30;8(1):238. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0293-5.

Mediterranean diet adherence and rate of cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation: Data from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing.

Author information

1
Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's disease Research and Care, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia. s.rainey-smith@ecu.edu.au.
2
Sir James McCusker Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit (Hollywood Private Hospital), Perth, Western Australia, Australia. s.rainey-smith@ecu.edu.au.
3
Taub Institute for Research of Alzheimer's Disease and the Ageing Brain, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
4
Gertrude H. Sergievsky Centre, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
5
Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's disease Research and Care, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia.
6
Sir James McCusker Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit (Hollywood Private Hospital), Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
7
CSIRO Health and Biosecurity/Australian e-Health Research Centre, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
8
Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, Carlton, VIC, Australia.
9
Department of Nuclear Medicine and Centre for PET, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.
10
School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia.
11
Collaborative Genomics Group, Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's disease Research and Care, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia.
12
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia.
13
School of Biomedical Sciences, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, New South Wales, Australia.
14
School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
15
National Ageing Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
16
Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, St. Vincent's Health, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Kew, Victoria, Australia.
17
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
18
CogState Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
19
Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.
20
Department of Social Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neurology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
21
School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia.

Abstract

Accumulating research has linked Mediterranean diet (MeDi) adherence with slower cognitive decline and reduced Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. However, no study to-date has examined the relationship between MeDi adherence and accumulation of cerebral Aβ-amyloid (Aβ; a pathological hallmark of AD) in older adults. Cognitively normal healthy control participants of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Study of Ageing completed the Cancer Council of Victoria Food Frequency Questionnaire at baseline, which was used to construct a MeDi score for each participant (score range 0-9; higher score indicating higher adherence). Cerebral Aβ load was quantified by Pittsburgh Compound B positron emission tomography at baseline, 18 and 36 months: Only individuals categorised as "Aβ accumulators", and thus considered to be on the AD pathway, were included in the analysis (N = 77). The relationship between MeDi adherence, MeDi components, and change in cerebral Aβ load (baseline to 36 months) was evaluated using Generalised Linear Modelling, accounting for age, gender, education, Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele status, body mass index and total energy intake. Higher MeDi score was associated with less Aβ accumulation in our cohort (β = -0.01 ± 0.004, p = 0.0070). Of the individual MeDi score components, a high intake of fruit was associated with less accumulation of Aβ (β = -0.04 ± 0.01, p = 0.00036). Our results suggest MeDi adherence is associated with reduced cerebral AD pathology accumulation over time. When our results are considered collectively with previous data linking the MeDi to slower cognitive decline, it is apparent that MeDi adherence warrants further investigation in the quest to delay AD onset.

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