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Fatty foods 'link' to Alzheimer's

16th June 2006

Eating fatty foods could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study, while cutting down on such foods could help to prevent it.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that reducing caloric intake could prevent Alzheimer's from developing by triggering a part of the brain associated with longevity.

Previous experiments have shown that changing lifestyle factors such as nutrition can help to manage Alzheimer's disease.

But according to Giulio Maria Pasinetti, lead author of the new study, this research is the first to show a connection between nutrition and Alzheimer's disease neuropathy "by defining mechanistic pathways in the brain and scrutinizing biochemical functions".

Experimenting on mice, Mr Pasinetti and his team found that beta-amyloid peptides, which cause plaque build-up in the brain and contribute to the onset of Alzheimer's, can be reduced through caloric restriction.

Likewise, they discovered that a high caloric intake actually promotes Alzheimer's-type beta-amyloidosis.

Mr Pasinetti said he hopes the new findings will "further unlock the mystery of Alzheimer's and bring hope to the millions of Americans suffering from this disease".