URV studies the role of diet in modulating proteins that can predict cognitive impairment

URV studies the role of diet in modulating proteins that can predict cognitive impairment

The Food, Nutrition, Development and Mental Health Research Group (ANUT-DSM) of the University of Rovira i Virgili has initiated a project aimed at identifying different proteins in the blood that can predict cognitive impairment and studying the role of diet and “lifestyle in modifying it.” .


This study, funded by a European program and two national programmes, and lasting for three years, is supposed to help detect diseases such as Alzheimer’s in their early stages and provide scientific evidence for designing prevention and treatment strategies.

In recent years, the international scientific community has devoted its efforts to isolating potential biological markers that help predict the onset of dementia in the early stages of these diseases. Some of these biomarkers are currently available, but to obtain them, surgical techniques such as lumbar puncture must be used, which is not without risks to the person.

Based on available biological samples from study volunteers, researchers in the project will try to identify different proteins in the blood related to cognition and neurodegeneration. This will make it possible to find out which proteins are associated with worse cognitive decline over time.

Meanwhile, researchers will try to evaluate whether diet, physical activity or weight loss can modify the level of these proteins, which will help understand how lifestyle changes can delay this cognitive decline in older people.

A growing problem

In 2020, it is estimated that around 55 million people worldwide suffer from some form of dementia, and this number is expected to continue to rise as life expectancy rises. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. In addition to its important economic impacts on both the individual and society, its appearance and development limit activities of daily living, deteriorate the quality of life and increase the risk of other diseases. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop preventive and therapeutic strategies.

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