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Mediterranean-style diet may cut Alzheimer's risk

Are felafel, hummus, baba ghanoush and shwarma brain food?

A Mediterranean-style diet may cut Alzheimer’s risk by 40 percent, according to new research by Columbia University Medical Center published in the Annals of Neurology. The diet—high in omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and fish—also reduces the risk of heart disease.

More research is needed before a recommendation can be made, Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, lead author of the research, told the Associated Press.

Scarmeas and his team studied 2,258 elderly Manhattan residents for four years. At the conclusion of the study, 262 had developed Alzheimer’s disease.

"The kinds of things we associate with being bad for our heart turn out to be bad for our brain," Dr. Marilyn Albert, a Johns Hopkins neurology professor and spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association, told the AP.