The Latest Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Social Media Posts

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.

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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.

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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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How sugar affects the brain – Nicole Avena

When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine — an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.

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Broccoli Soup with Sumac and Crispy Broccoli

You probably already cook with turmeric in your kitchen, but sumac may be new to you. Sumac is a berry that’s dried and pulverized into a powder. It’s brick-red hue and lemony ping of tartness pairs well with so many foods. I like it sprinkled on hummus, avocado toast, roasted cauliflower, and as part of my homemade za’ atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix.

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Does long-term exposure to air pollution lead to a steeper rate of cognitive decline?

People who live in urban areas with higher levels of air pollution may score lower on thinking and memory tests and may also lose cognitive skills faster over time, or it is possible they also may not, according to a study published in the April 8, 2020, online issue of Neurology. Researchers examined the association of air pollution levels and cognitive impairment and decline in participants in two large epidemiological studies. They found an association between the air pollution and cognitive decline in one study group but not in the other.

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