MIND and Mediterranean diets associated with delayed onset of Parkinson disease

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 63, No. 2, March 2021, Page 72 News

A new study from UBC researchers suggests a strong correlation between following the MIND and Mediterranean diets and later onset of Parkinson disease. While researchers have long known of neuroprotective effects of the MIND diet for diseases like Alzheimer disease and dementia, this study is the first to suggest a link between this diet and brain health for Parkinson disease. The MIND diet combines aspects of two popular diets, the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

The study (176 participants) shows that individuals with Parkinson disease have a significantly later age of onset if their eating pattern closely aligns with the Mediterranean-type diet (up to 17 years later in women and 8 years later in men), according to Dr Silke Appel-Cresswell of the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and the Division of Neurology in the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

Researchers looked at adherence to these types of diets, characterized by reduced meat intake and a focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats, and the age of Parkinson disease onset. The MIND diet showed a more significant impact on women’s health, whereas the Mediterranean diet did for men. The differences in these two diets are subtle but could serve as clues to the impacts specific foods and micronutrients may have on brain health.

The different effects of diet adherence between sexes are noteworthy as approximately 60% of those diagnosed with Parkinson disease are men. These findings springboard to other research questions that could have significant impacts on the understanding of the disease, and drive home the connection between the gut and the brain for this disease. The research team plans to further examine the potential connection between the microbiome and its effect on the brain.

The study was published in Movement Disorders and is available online at https://movementdisorders.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mds.28464.

. MIND and Mediterranean diets associated with delayed onset of Parkinson disease. BCMJ, Vol. 63, No. 2, March, 2021, Page(s) 72 - News.

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