Under the title "Food against oblivion - nutrition and dementia" Prof. Dr. Ute Nöthlings, spokeswoman of the Diet-Body-Brain (DietBB) Competence Cluster, talked to around 100 guests about the prevention of dementia through nutrition. After her lecture, the guests took the opportunity to ask questions.
Dementia, a disease of the brain characterized by cognitive decline and loss of everyday skills, is affecting more and more people. Dementia has gained in importance among the top 10 of the most important diseases in Germany: while the disease did not appear in the ranking in 1990 (place 14), it climbed to 5th place by 2016.
However, is it possible to eat against oblivion? There is little reliable data on the prevention of dementia via nutrition. Professor Nöthlings presented studies and meta-analyses on food patterns, foods and nutrients and provided an overview of the study situation to date. The analyses showed that a Mediterranean diet is probably inversely associated with dementia. The Mediterranean dietary pattern is characterised by the frequent consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes and fish, a balanced ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acids and moderate consumption of dairy products and meat.
Professor Nöthlings also presented the concept of the cognitive reserve. This concept is based on the assumption that a person builds up a cognitive reserve, from which he or she is fed throughout life. "This speaks in favour of taking action against dementia not only in old age, but also much earlier, for example in childhood, to lay the foundations for prevention," said Nöthlings
Text: Dr. Maike Gutmann, DGE (TA6)