AAN: Mediterranean Diet Score Linked to Cognition in MS

Cognition among persons with MS is associated with the Mediterranean diet score.

HealthDay News — The Mediterranean diet score is associated with cognition among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 22 to 27 in Boston.

Ilana Katz Sand, M.D., from the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for MS at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues examined the relationships between the Mediterranean diet score and cognitive outcomes in 563 persons with MS. Participants completed the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and a cognitive battery composed of the Symbol Digit Modalities Test; Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, Revised; and CANTAB Paired Associate Learning. A composite z-score was calculated by averaging normative z-scores.

The researchers found that better cognition was independently predicted by higher MEDAS (B = 0.08; β = 0.20). Overall, 108 patients (19.2 percent) had cognitive impairment. Higher MEDAS independently predicted a lower risk for cognitive impairment (odds ratio, 0.80). The best health-related predictor of cognitive z-score and cognition impairment was MEDAS. Persons with progressive versus relapsing disease had a stronger relationship between diet and cognition.

“Cognitive difficulties are very common in MS, and they often get worse over time, even with treatment with disease-modifying therapies,” Katz Sand said in a statement. “People living with MS are very interested in ways they can be proactive from a lifestyle perspective to help improve their outcomes.”

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