Prof. dr. W.M. van der Flier
VU Medisch Centrum Amsterdam
Nutrition, the unrecognized determinant in Alzheimer?s disease (NUDAD)
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
Diet likely has an important effect on cognitive health and performance. The most common form of dementia, Alzheimers disease (AD), is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Prevention of dementia through dietary intervention is an attractive approach, especially since curative therapy is not available now or in the near future. Dietary intervention is relatively safe and cheap, compared to drug development and treatment, but should be based on scientific evidence of the factors involved. NUDADs main objective is to identify modifiable dietary risk factors for AD, the preceding stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and preclinical AD (i.e. cognitively normal) in a longitudinal cohort study. We will assemble a prospective cohort of patients at risk of AD (cognitively normal, MCI) and mild AD, with clinical follow-up during three years. In these patients, we will measure food behaviour including taste, smell, hunger /satiety and food preference as determinants of food intake, track food intake using detailed questionnaires, measure energy needs and body composition, and assess nutritional biomarkers in patients blood and CSF. These findings will be used to identify risk factors for AD, formulate dietary guidelines for patients with (predementia) AD and to develop recommendations for trial design in stratified patient groups. Ultimately, this will aid in the future development of targeted nutritional products for patients (at risk of) cognitive decline and AD.