Modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet may reduce cognitive decline

August 03, 2021

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Source:
Kawas, MI, et al. Modified Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet Addresses Differences in Connectivity of Standard Node Networks Between Adults with Normal and Impaired Cognition: A Pilot Study. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; 26.-30. July 2021 (virtual meeting).

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A modified Mediterranean ketogenic diet appeared to reduce cognitive decline in adults at risk for Alzheimer’s, a small pilot study showed.

“We know that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with disturbances in the functional networks of the brain that precede clinical presentation and that the network is most affected in standard mode.” Mohammad I. Kawas, MD, a PhD student in the neuroscience program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, said during a taped presentation for the Alzheimer’s Association virtual international conference.

Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference demonstrated potential cognitive benefits in those following a modified Mediterranean ketogenic diet.
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“With no current disease-modifying or preventive therapies, the focus is increasingly on alternative approaches, including the ketogenic diet, which provides the brain with additional metallic fuel and has potential neuroprotective effects,” said Kawas.

Kawas and colleagues analyzed the cognitive test results, gray matter segmentation, and blood oxygen-dependent imaging for functional connectivity at rest in 10 adults (mean age 65 years) with normal cognition and subjective memory disorders and 8 adults (mean age 65 years). Years) with mild cognitive impairment. According to Kawas, a previous study of these participants showed that those who followed the ketogenic diet improved their test scores for free and utility data mining.

The researchers asked each participant to follow a modified Mediterranean ketogenic diet for 6 weeks and then the American Heart Association diet in a randomized crossover design. Participants underwent 3T MRI and cognitive testing before and after each diet.

Kawas and colleagues found no detectable differences in network connectivity in standard mode between the two groups after either diet. However, the modified Mediterranean ketogenic diet had a greater effect in reducing hyperconnectivity in standard mode in adults with mild cognitive impairment than the American Heart Association diet.

“Our results suggest that ketogenic intervention in adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease can increase abnormal patterns of network connectivity and reduce cognitive decline,” said Kawas.

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International conference of the Alzheimer's Association

International conference of the Alzheimer’s Association

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