Diet pattern and prodromal features of Parkinson disease

Neurology. 2020 Oct 13;95(15):e2095-e2108. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000010523. Epub 2020 Aug 19.


Objective: To assess the relationship between diet pattern and prodromal Parkinson disease (PD) features.

Methods: These analyses include 47,679 participants from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Since 1986, both cohorts have collected dietary information every 4 years and calculated scores for adherence to different diet patterns, including the alternate Mediterranean diet (aMED) and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). In 2012, participants responded to questions regarding constipation and probable REM sleep behavior disorder. For a subset of 17,400 respondents to the 2012 questionnaire, 5 additional prodromal features of PD were assessed in 2014 to 2015. We used multinomial logistic regression to estimate the association between baseline (1986) diet pattern score quintiles and number of prodromal features (0, 1, 2, or ≥3) in 2012 to 2015. Additional analyses investigated the association between long-term adherence to these dietary patterns over 20 years and prodromal features suggestive of PD.

Results: In a comparison of extreme aMED diet quintiles, the odds ratio for ≥3 vs 0 features was 0.82 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68-1.00, false discovery rate [FDR]-adjusted p trend = 0.03) at baseline and 0.67 (95% CI 0.54-0.83, FDR-p trend < 0.001) for long-term diet; results were equally strong for the association with AHEI scores. Higher adherence to these diets was inversely associated with individual features, including constipation, excessive daytime sleepiness, and depression.

Conclusions: The inverse association between these diet patterns and prodromal PD features is consistent with previous findings and suggests that adherence to a healthy diet may reduce the occurrence of nonmotor symptoms that often precede PD diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Constipation / complications
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Prodromal Symptoms*
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / complications