In April 2020 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess the role of diet quality on cognitive functioning, by sex and increasing genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, in African American middle-aged adults. The researchers stated that poor diet quality has been associated with poor cognition and increased neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s disease. A group of individuals (approximately 55% women) from the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study who were at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, were involved in the study. Adherence to the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) were assessed at the start of the study and during follow-up visits over approximately a 5-year period, with results being used to assess diet quality. Results showed that a higher diet quality was associated with better results on the California Verbal Learning Test, especially in women at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers therefore concluded that a better quality diet was associated with a slower decline in verbal memory among African American women with a greater at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Further researcher is required to assess the role of diet in at-risk individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Hossain S et al. Longitudinal associations between dietary quality and Alzheimer’s Disease genetic risk on cognitive performance among African American adults. Br J Nutr. 2020 Apr 6:1-38. [Epub ahead of print]