Diet May Help Preserve Cognitive Function

According to a recent analysis of data from two major eye disease studies, adherence to the Mediterranean diet – high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil – correlates with higher cognitive function. Dietary factors also seem to play a role in slowing cognitive decline. Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, led the analysis of data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2.

Gene Promoter Advances Could Enhance Treatment of Neurological Disorders

A recently developed system for switching on the activity of genes could improve treatments for a broad range of neurological diseases. Esteban Engel, a researcher in viral neuroengineering in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, and his team have developed new gene promoters – which act like switches to turn on gene expression – that promise to broaden the ability to deliver large genes and keep them active for long periods of time.

Further evidence autoimmunity plays a role in Parkinson’s disease

T cells that react to alpha-synuclein are most abundant in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease but tend to disappear as the disease progresses. Signs of autoimmunity can appear in Parkinson’s patients up to ten years before a diagnosis of the neurodegenerative disease. The detection of T cell response could be an early biomarker for Parkinson’s, long before the physical symptoms begin to manifest.

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