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July 2009

Mediterranean Dietary Pattern, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Progression to Dementia

Arch Neurol. 2009;66(7):910-916. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.128

Scarmeas et al1 reported the results of a very interesting community-based study, the Washington Heights–Inwood Columbia Aging Project involving 2364 nondemented individuals in New York, New York, in which adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet (MeDi) was associated with a borderline reduction in the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and a reduction in the risk of progression from MCI to Alzheimer disease (AD). In this sample, these associations did not attenuate even when simultaneously adjusting for many commonly considered potential confounders (age, sex, ethnicity, education, apolipoprotein E [APOE] genotype, caloric intake, and body mass index). Scarmeas and colleagues also found that an association between higher adherence to the MeDi and lower risk of conversion to AD was much more prominent for subjects who had MCI without memory impairment.