Associations between dietary patterns and dementia-related neuroimaging markers

Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Oct;19(10):4629-4640. doi: 10.1002/alz.13048. Epub 2023 Mar 24.


Background: The exploration of associations between dietary patterns and dementia-related neuroimaging markers can provide insights on food combinations that may impact brain integrity.

Methods: Data were derived from the Swedish Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Study (n = 610). Three dietary patterns were obtained using principal component analysis. Magnetic resonance imaging markers included cortical thickness, an Alzheimer's disease (AD) signature score, small vessel disease, and white matter microstructural integrity. Adjusted linear/ordinal regression analyses were performed.

Results: A high-protein and alcohol dietary pattern was negatively associated with cortical thickness in the whole brain (Beta: -0.011; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.018 to -0.003), and with an Alzheimer's disease cortical thickness signature score (Beta: -0.013; 95% CI: -0.024 to -0.001). A positive association was found between a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern and white matter microstructural integrity (Beta: 0.078; 95% CI: 0.002-0.154). No associations were found with a Western-like dietary pattern.

Discussion: Dietary patterns may impact brain integrity through neurodegenerative and vascular pathways.

Highlights: Certain dietary patterns were associated with dementia-related neuroimaging markers. A Mediterranean dietary pattern was positively associated with white matter microstructure. A high-protein and alcohol pattern was negatively associated with cortical thickness.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; dementia; dietary patterns; diffusion tensor imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neuroimaging
  • White Matter* / diagnostic imaging
  • White Matter* / pathology