The Effect of the Mediterranean Diet on Cognitive Function in Patients With Parkinson's Disease: A Randomized Clinical Controlled Trial

Complement Ther Med. 2020 May;50:102366. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102366. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Abstract

Objectives: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. It is proposed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet might have a beneficial effect on the prevention and treatment of PD and its complications. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the Mediterranean diet on cognitive function in patients with PD.

Design: The study was a single-center, randomized clinical trial. Eighty patients with idiopathic PD were randomly allocated to the Mediterranean diet (n = 40) or control (n = 40) group. Patients in the intervention group received an individualized dietary plan based on Mediterranean diet for 10 weeks. The Persian version of Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test was used to assess the cognitive function at baseline and the end of the study.

Results: Thirty-five PD patients with a mean age of 59.3 ± 8.3 and 35 patients with a mean age of 58.6 ± 9.3 finished the study in intervention and control groups, respectively. After the intervention, the mean score of the dimensions of executive function, language, attention, concentration, and active memory and the total score of cognitive assessment significantly increased in the intervention compared with the control group (p < 0.05, for all). Nevertheless, the mean of the other scores including spatial-visual ability, memory learning task, and navigation versus time and place did not significantly change in both intervention and control groups.

Conclusions: The findings of this study showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet remarkably increased the dimensions of executive function, language, attention, concentration, and active memory and finally the total score of cognitive assessment in PD patients.

Keywords: Cognitive function; Mediterranean diet; Parkinson's disease.