In old age, motor impairments including parkinsonian signs are common, but treatment is lacking for many older adults. In this study, we examined the association of a diet specifically developed to promote brain health, called MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), to the incidence and progression of parkinsonism in older adults.
A total of 706 Memory and Aging Project participants aged 59–97 years and without parkinsonism at baseline were assessed annually for the presence of four parkinsonian signs using a 26-item modified version of the United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. Incident parkinsonism was defined as the first occurrence over 4.6 years of follow-up of two or more parkinsonian signs. The progression of parkinsonism was assessed by change in a global parkinsonian score (range: 0-100). MIND, Mediterranean, and DASH diet pattern scores were computed based on a validated food frequency questionnaire including 144 food items. We employed Cox-Proportional Hazard models and linear mixed models, to examine the associations of baseline diet scores with incident parkinsonism and the annual rate of change in global parkinsonian score, respectively.
In models adjusted for age, sex, smoking, total energy intake, BMI and depressive symptoms, higher MIND diet scores were associated with a decreased risk of parkinsonism [(HR=0.89, 95% CI 0.83-0.96)]; and a slower rate of parkinsonism progression [(β= -0.008; SE=0.0037; p=0.04)]. The Mediterranean diet was marginally associated with reduced parkinsonism progression (β= -0.002; SE=0.0014; p=0.06). The DASH diet, by contrast, was not associated with either outcome.
The MIND diet created for brain health may be a associated with decreased risk and slower progression of parkinsonism in older adults.
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Agarwal, P., Wang, Y., Buchman, A.S. et al. MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence and Delayed Progression of Parkinsonism in Old Age. J Nutr Health Aging 22, 1211–1215 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-018-1094-5
- motor decline
- dietary pattern
- MIND diet