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Healthy Diet Inversely Linked to Prodromal Parkinson Disease Features

THURSDAY, Aug. 20, 2020 -- Increased adherence to alternate Mediterranean (aMED) and Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) dietary patterns is inversely associated with prodromal features of Parkinson disease (PD), according to a study published online Aug. 19 in Neurology.

Samantha Molsberry, Ph.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between diet pattern and prodromal PD features in an analysis of 47,679 participants from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Participants responded to questions regarding constipation and probable rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder in 2012. For a subset of 17,400 respondents, five additional prodromal features of PD were examined in 2014 to 2015. The association between baseline diet pattern (1986) score quintiles and the number of prodromal features in 2012 to 2015 was examined.

The researchers found that the odds ratio for at least three versus zero features was 0.82 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.00) at baseline and 0.67 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.83) for long-term diet when comparing extreme aMED diet quintiles; for the association with AHEI scores, results were equally strong. There was an inverse association noted for higher adherence to these diets with individual features, including constipation, excessive daytime sleepiness, and depression.

"Additional prospective research is needed to determine whether increased adherence to the aMED or AHEI dietary patterns can prevent or delay conversion to PD among individuals with prodromal features," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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