Can Nutrients Prevent or Delay Onset of Alzheimer's Disease?

Danone Research, Centre for Specialised Nutrition, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD (Impact Factor: 4.15). 02/2010; 20(3):765-75. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2010-091558
Source: PubMed


Age-related changes in nutritional status can play an important role in brain functioning. Specific nutrient deficiencies in the elderly, including omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and antioxidants among others, may exacerbate pathological processes in the brain. Consequently, the potential of nutritional intervention to prevent or delay cognitive impairment and the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a topic of growing scientific interest. This review summarizes epidemiological studies linking specific nutritional deficiencies to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as well as completed and ongoing nutritional studies in prevention of MCI and AD. Processes that underlie AD pathogenesis include: membrane/synaptic degeneration, abnormal protein processing (amyloid-beta, tau), vascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia), inflammation, and oxidative stress. Consideration of mechanistic evidence to date suggests that several nutritional components can effectively counteract these processes, e.g., by promoting membrane formation and synaptogenesis, enhancing memory/behavior, improving endothelial function, and cerebrovascular health. The literature reinforces the need for early intervention in AD and suggests that multi-nutritional intervention, targeting multiple aspects of the neurodegenerative process during the earliest possible phase in the development of the disease, is likely to have the greatest therapeutic potential.

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    • "Effects will likely be smaller in healthy adults or those with advanced cognitive impair- ment[24]. It has also been proposed that combinations of different nutrients might be more effective than supplementation with single nutrients[3,25]. In this regard, it is noteworthy that links between omega-3 fatty acids and homocysteine have been sug- gested[26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A randomized trial (VITACOG) in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) found that B vitamin treatment to lower homocysteine slowed the rate of cognitive and clinical decline. We have used data from this trial to see whether baseline omega-3 fatty acid status interacts with the effects of B vitamin treatment. 266 participants with MCI aged ≥70 years were randomized to B vitamins (folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12) or placebo for 2 years. Baseline cognitive test performance, clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale, and plasma concentrations of total homocysteine, total docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids (omega-3 fatty acids) were measured. Final scores for verbal delayed recall, global cognition, and CDR sum-of-boxes were better in the B vitamin-treated group according to increasing baseline concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, whereas scores in the placebo group were similar across these concentrations. Among those with good omega-3 status, 33% of those on B vitamin treatment had global CDR scores >0 compared with 59% among those on placebo. For all three outcome measures, higher concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid alone significantly enhanced the cognitive effects of B vitamins, while eicosapentaenoic acid appeared less effective. When omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are low, B vitamin treatment has no effect on cognitive decline in MCI, but when omega-3 levels are in the upper normal range, B vitamins interact to slow cognitive decline. A clinical trial of B vitamins combined with omega-3 fatty acids is needed to see whether it is possible to slow the conversion from MCI to AD.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    • "In recent years, studies have focused on different nutritional approaches to benefit AD patients. More specifically, foods rich in ω-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (found abundantly in marine fish), vitamins, and diverse groups of secondary, polyphenolic plant metabolites have been shown to be effective against several AD pathologies (Stevenson and Hurst, 2007; Kamphuis and Scheltens, 2010; Kim et al., 2010; Willis et al., 2010). In the following sections, we will focus on the progress made with some of the most promising plant secondary metabolites such as curcumin and apigenin. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by deposition of amyloid beta, neurofibrillary tangles, astrogliosis and microgliosis, leading to neuronal dysfunction and loss in the brain. Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease primarily focus on enhancement of cholinergic transmission. However, these treatments are only symptomatic, and no disease-modifying drug is available for Alzheimer’s disease patients. This review will provide an overview of the proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-amyloidogenic, neuroprotective, and cognition-enhancing effects of curcumin and apigenin and discuss the potential of these compounds for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment. We suggest that these compounds might delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or slow down its progression, and they should enter clinical trials as soon as possible. © 2015, Editorial Board of Neural Regeneration Research. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Neural Regeneration Research
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    • "Observational studies examining different dietary patterns with regard to the risk of developing AD revealed that diets rich in red meat, high-fat dairy products, butter, and refined sugar were associated with a higher AD risk, whereas diets rich in grains, vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and nuts decreased the risk [110] [111] [112]. More specifically, foods rich in ω-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and diverse groups of polyphenolic plant secondary metabolites have been shown to be effective against several AD pathologies, including abnormal Aβ processing, synaptic degeneration, oxidative stress, and inflammation, and slowed the progression of cognitive decline [109] [113] [114] [115]. Extensive research has accumulated data over the last few decades on the efficacy in AD treatment utilising anti-amyloidogenic, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties of naturally occurring substances like curcumin, catechins (from green tea), several fatty acids, and polyphenols (anthocyanins) for example found in blueberries [2] [114] [116]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by deposition of amyloid beta, neurofibrillary tangles, astrogliosis and microgliosis, leading to neuronal dysfunction and loss in the brain. Bio- and histochemical evidence suggests a pivotal role of central and peripheral inflammation in its aetiopathology, linked to the production of free radicals. Numerous epidemiological studies support that the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is preventive against AD, but these medications do not slow down the progression of the disease in already diagnosed patients. There are a number of studies focusing on traditional herbal medicines and small molecules (usually plant secondary metabolites) as potential anti-inflammatory drugs, particulary in respect to cytokine suppression. For instance, ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and a number of polyphenolic phytochemicals have been shown to be effective against inflammation in animal and cell models. Some of these plant secondary metabolites have also been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-amyloidogenic, neuroprotective, and cognition-enhancing effects. This review will overview the the effects of catechins/proanthocyanidins from green tea, curcumin from turmeric, extracts enriched in bacosides from Brahmi, Ginkgo flavone glycosides, and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids not only counteract one pathophysiological aspect of AD in numerous in vitro and in vivo studies of models of AD, but also ameliorate several of the above mentioned pathologies. The evidence suggests that increased consumption of these compounds might lead to a safe strategy to delay the onset of AD. The continuing investigation of the potential of these substances is necessary as they are promising to yield a possible remedy for this pervasive disease.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders)
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