The National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded a Bronx nutrition scientist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine a $4 million 5 year grant for a year study on the potential impact of a healthy diet of foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties on lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s as well as cognitive decline.

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, PhD, RD, will lead the study which will recruit over 300 middle aged Co-op City Residents between the ages of 40-65 due to the neighborhood’s large and ethnically diverse population.

There have been previous studies that indicate diets rich in anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil, fish, and a variety of leafy green veggies appear to slow down cognitive decline and improve overall brain health like the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diets.

According to Alzheimer’s Today:

“A key aspect of the study is using the Multicultural Healthy Diet, which is built on a base of known anti-inflammatory foods, including whole grains, fish, lentils, nuts, beans, and herbs and spices,” Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani said. “Many of the foods in this diet are widely available and used in cuisines around the world, rather than emanating from one specific region.”

“The beauty of the study is that we’re assessing diet and cognition in real time rather than having participants travel to a clinic for every cognitive assessment,” said Mossavar-Rahmani. “And we’re looking at an ethnically diverse population of middle-aged and older people. Perhaps we’ll learn that we can change the course of cognitive decline with this diet or reduce risk for mild cognitive impairment that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.”

We’re looking forward to see the data that comes out of this since this is rather personal for us. On my father’s side of the family it’s rare that a family member does NOT get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and we’ve had many loved ones perish from this terrible disease.


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