Lifestyle and vascular risk effects on MRI-based biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease: a cross-sectional study of middle-aged adults from the broader New York City area.
BMJ open. 2018;8(3):e019362
Plain language summary
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting nearly 34 million people worldwide. It has been estimated that one in every three cases of AD may be attributable to diet and lifestyle factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lifestyle and vascular-related risk factors for AD. Researchers studied the brain scans of 116 healthy adults aged 30-60 years. They collected information on factors related to lifestyle, such as diet, physical activity and intellectual enrichment. They also looked at markers for vascular risk such as body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and homocysteine, as well as cognitive function. The researchers found that a Mediterranean-style diet and good insulin sensitivity were both associated with a healthier brain structure. A better score for intellectual enrichment and lower BMI were both associated with better cognition. They concluded that adopting a Mediterranean-style diet and maintaining a healthy weight might reduce the risk of developing AD.
OBJECTIVE To investigate the effects of lifestyle and vascular-related risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) on in vivo MRI-based brain atrophy in asymptomatic young to middle-aged adults. DESIGN Cross-sectional, observational. SETTING Broader New York City area. Two research centres affiliated with the Alzheimer's disease Core Center at New York University School of Medicine. PARTICIPANTS We studied 116 cognitively normal healthy research participants aged 30-60 years, who completed a three-dimensional T1-weighted volumetric MRI and had lifestyle (diet, physical activity and intellectual enrichment), vascular risk (overweight, hypertension, insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol and homocysteine) and cognition (memory, executive function, language) data. Estimates of cortical thickness for entorhinal (EC), posterior cingulate, orbitofrontal, inferior and middle temporal cortex were obtained by use of automated segmentation tools. We applied confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling to evaluate the associations between lifestyle, vascular risk, brain and cognition. RESULTS Adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet (MeDi) and insulin sensitivity were both positively associated with MRI-based cortical thickness (diet: β ≥0.26, insulin sensitivity β ≥0.58, P≤0.008). After accounting for vascular risk, EC in turn explained variance in memory (P≤0.001). None of the other lifestyle and vascular risk variables were associated with brain thickness. In addition, the path associations between intellectual enrichment and better cognition were significant (β ≥0.25 P≤0.001), as were those between overweight and lower cognition (β ≥-0.22, P≤0.01). CONCLUSIONS In cognitively normal middle-aged adults, MeDi and insulin sensitivity explained cortical thickness in key brain regions for AD, and EC thickness predicted memory performance in turn. Intellectual activity and overweight were associated with cognitive performance through different pathways. Our findings support further investigation of lifestyle and vascular risk factor modification against brain ageing and AD. More studies with larger samples are needed to replicate these research findings in more diverse, community-based settings.
Prevalence and determinants of physical activity in a mixed sample of psychiatric patients in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi medical journal. 2018;39(4):401-411
Plain language summary
Physical activity has been shown to considerably reduce the burden of several non-communicable disorders (are diseases of long duration and generally slow progression), such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast and colon cancers. The aim of the study is to estimate the prevalence of physical activity among a mixed group of patients with psychiatric illnesses in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the study sought to evaluate the associations between physical activity, patients with different psychiatric diagnoses and the use of psychotropic medications. The study is a cross-sectional observational study that recruited 1185 patients seeking psychiatric advice, with an average age of 38.0±13.0 years. Results indicate a low prevalence of physical activity in a large, mixed sample of patients with psychiatric illnesses in both inpatient and outpatient settings in Saudi Arabia. Authors conclude that physical activity levels vary according to the type of psychiatric disease and the medications used. They outline that it is important to assess the physical activity status in patients with psychiatric illnesses and promote physical activity programs among psychiatric patients.
OBJECTIVES To estimate prevalence of physical activity and its associations with various psychiatric disorders and the use of psychotropic medications. METHODS A cross-sectional observational study was carried out between July 2012 and June 2014. Patients were enrolled from a number of hospitals located in 5 regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. RESULTS A total of 1185 patients were included in current analysis: 796 were outpatients, and 389 were inpatients. Out of 1,185 patients, 153 (12.9%) were physically active. Much higher rates of physical activity were reported among males than females (15.9% versus 9.6%, p less than 0.001). According to the univariate analysis, higher rates of physical activity were positively correlated with primary bipolar disorders, the use of antianxiety medications and, to a lesser extent, use of antipsychotic medications, but they were negatively correlated with primary anxiety disorders, use of antidepressant medications, and use of multiple psychotropic medications. The associations between physical activity and primary bipolar disorders (odds ratio [OR]=2.47, p=0.002), use of antianxiety medications (OR=3.58, p=0.003), and use of multiple psychotropic medications (OR=0.33, p less than 0.001) remained significant after adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics. CONCLUSION We report a variable but generally low prevalence of physical activity among a large, mixed sample of psychiatric patients in Saudi Arabia. These findings may highlight the importance of assessing physical activity status of psychiatric patients and the critical need for physical activity promotion programs among this group of disadvantaged patients.
The effects of acceptance and commitment therapy on eating behavior and diet delivered through face-to-face contact and a mobile app: a randomized controlled trial.
The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity. 2018;15(1):22
Plain language summary
Acceptance and commitment therapy is one promising method in changing behaviour towards a person’s own value and goals. It aims to strengthen positive psychological processes related to commitment, behaviour change, mindfulness, and acceptance, which can be applied to promote healthy behaviour pattern. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of acceptance and commitment therapy intervention delivered in two different ways i.e., via face-to-face group sessions and via mobile app, on reported eating behaviour and diet quality among adults with psychological distress and overweight or obesity. The study is a secondary analysis of the parallel-arm randomised controlled trial in which 3 different psychological interventions were studied. 219 individuals participated in the study with a mean body mass index of 31.3kg/m2, and a mean age of 49.5 years. Results indicate that acceptance and commitment therapy-based were able to change the reasons for eating from emotional or environmental triggers towards hunger and satiety cues, increase the acceptance of a variety of foods, and help the individual to perceive healthy eating more consistently. Authors conclude that acceptance and commitment therapy-based interventions delivered in the face-to-face group sessions or by the Mobile app showed beneficial effects on several aspects of eating behaviour.
BACKGROUND Internal motivation and good psychological capabilities are important factors in successful eating-related behavior change. Thus, we investigated whether general acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) affects reported eating behavior and diet quality and whether baseline perceived stress moderates the intervention effects. METHODS Secondary analysis of unblinded randomized controlled trial in three Finnish cities. Working-aged adults with psychological distress and overweight or obesity in three parallel groups: (1) ACT-based Face-to-face (n = 70; six group sessions led by a psychologist), (2) ACT-based Mobile (n = 78; one group session and mobile app), and (3) Control (n = 71; only the measurements). At baseline, the participants' (n = 219, 85% females) mean body mass index was 31.3 kg/m (SD = 2.9), and mean age was 49.5 years (SD = 7.4). The measurements conducted before the 8-week intervention period (baseline), 10 weeks after the baseline (post-intervention), and 36 weeks after the baseline (follow-up) included clinical measurements, questionnaires of eating behavior (IES-1, TFEQ-R18, HTAS, ecSI 2.0, REBS), diet quality (IDQ), alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C), perceived stress (PSS), and 48-h dietary recall. Hierarchical linear modeling (Wald test) was used to analyze the differences in changes between groups. RESULTS Group x time interactions showed that the subcomponent of intuitive eating (IES-1), i.e., Eating for physical rather than emotional reasons, increased in both ACT-based groups (p = .019); the subcomponent of TFEQ-R18, i.e., Uncontrolled eating, decreased in the Face-to-face group (p = .020); the subcomponent of health and taste attitudes (HTAS), i.e., Using food as a reward, decreased in the Mobile group (p = .048); and both subcomponent of eating competence (ecSI 2.0), i.e., Food acceptance (p = .048), and two subcomponents of regulation of eating behavior (REBS), i.e., Integrated and Identified regulation (p = .003, p = .023, respectively), increased in the Face-to-face group. Baseline perceived stress did not moderate effects on these particular features of eating behavior from baseline to follow-up. No statistically significant effects were found for dietary measures. CONCLUSIONS ACT-based interventions, delivered in group sessions or by mobile app, showed beneficial effects on reported eating behavior. Beneficial effects on eating behavior were, however, not accompanied by parallel changes in diet, which suggests that ACT-based interventions should include nutritional counseling if changes in diet are targeted. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT01738256 ), registered 17 August, 2012.
Association between eating behaviour and diet quality: eating alone vs. eating with others.
Nutrition journal. 2018;17(1):117
Plain language summary
Selecting foods for a day is easily influenced by the social environment and eating together or alone plays a big role in that decision. The study aims to evaluate the association between diet quality of the modern Korean adult population based on the eating behaviour and the socioeconomic factors that influence their diet quality. The study is a cross-sectional study which included 3365 men and 5258 women aged between 19 and 64 years. The study included demographic, socioeconomics, and health behaviour factors as covariates. Results indicate that diet quality is influence by eating behaviour. Authors observed that when Korean adults ate without a companion, their diet quality was significantly lower than those who consistently ate with others. Furthermore, from the higher education to lower education level, the diet quality declined when they eat alone. Authors conclude that many Korean adults are experiencing low diet quality when they eat alone. The study provides evidence to promote interventions to improve diet quality among the public.
BACKGROUND To discover the association between eating alone and diet quality among Korean adults who eat alone measured by the mean adequacy ratio (MAR), METHODS The cross-sectional study in diet quality which was measured by nutrient intakes, indicated as MAR and nutrient adequacy ratio (NAR) with the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) VI 2013-2015 data. Study population was 8523 Korean adults. Multiple linear regression was performed to identify the association between eating behaviour and MAR and further study analysed how socioeconomic factors influence the diet quality of those who eat alone. RESULTS We found that the diet quality of people who eat alone was lower than that of people who eat together in both male (β: - 0.110, p = 0.002) and female participants (β: - 0.069, p = 0.005). Among who eats alone, the socioeconomic factors that negatively influenced MAR with the living arrangement, education level, income levels, and various occupation classifications. CONCLUSIONS People who eat alone have nutrition intake below the recommended amount. This could lead to serious health problems not only to those who are socially disadvantaged but also those who are in a higher social stratum. Policy-makers should develop strategies to enhance diet quality to prevent potential risk factors.
Randomized controlled trial comparing smartphone assisted versus traditional guided self-help for adults with binge eating.
The International journal of eating disorders. 2017;50(11):1313-1322
Plain language summary
Mobile technology offers the potential for greater accessibility to patients, and a reduced treatment burden, which could increase adherence to self-help treatments. The aim of this randomised controlled study was to test the efficacy of a smartphone app – Noom Monitor - compared to traditional cognitive behaviour therapy in the management of binge eating episodes. The study recruited 66 adults who were randomized into two groups: cognitive-behaviour therapy through self-guided help or cognitive-behaviour therapy through self-guided help using Noom Monitor. Results show that patients receiving cognitive-behaviour therapy through self-guided help using Noom Monitor experienced a greater reduction in objective bulimic episodes and purging, and an increase in weekly meal and snack adherence. Authors conclude that smartphone apps can improve initial outcomes of cognitive-behaviour therapy through self-guided help and may offer a useful way to improve participant adherence among those who stay engaged in the treatment.
OBJECTIVE Guided self-help treatments based on cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT-GSH) are efficacious for binge eating. With limited availability of CBT-GSH in the community, mobile technology offers a means to increase use of these interventions. The purpose of this study was to test the initial efficacy of Noom Monitor, a smartphone application designed to facilitate CBT-GSH (CBT-GSH + Noom), on study retention, adherence, and eating disorder symptoms compared to traditional CBT-GSH. METHOD Sixty-six men and women with DSM-5 binge-eating disorder (BED) or bulimia nervosa (BN) were randomized to receive eight sessions of CBT-GSH + Noom (n = 33) or CBT-GSH (n = 33) over 12 weeks. Primary symptom outcomes were eating disorder examination objective bulimic episodes (OBEs), subjective bulimic episodes (SBEs), and compensatory behaviors. Assessments were collected at 0, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 36 weeks. Behavioral outcomes were modeled using zero-inflated negative-binomial latent growth curve models with intent-to-treat. RESULTS There was a significant effect of treatment on change in OBEs (β = -0.84, 95% CI = -1.49, -0.19) favoring CBT-GSH + Noom. Remission rates were not statistically different between treatments for OBEs (β = -0.73, 95% CI = -1.86, 3.27; CBT-GSH-Noom = 17/27, 63.0% vs. CBT-GSH 11/27, 40.7%, NNT = 4.5), but CBT-GSH-Noom participants reported greater meal and snack adherence and regular meal adherence mediated treatment effects on OBEs. The treatments did not differ at the 6-month follow-up. DISCUSSION Smartphone applications for the treatment binge eating appear to have advantages for adherence, a critical component of treatment dissemination.
Sleep restriction increases the neuronal response to unhealthy food in normal-weight individuals.
International journal of obesity (2005). 2014;38(3):411-6
Plain language summary
Sleep patterns influence eating behaviour and the body’s response to food. Previous studies suggest that short sleep duration leads to increased caloric intake and a desire for high-fat foods, however the specific neural mechanisms explaining how sleep restriction modulates this response is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether a specific area of the brain is activated in response to unhealthy compared with healthy foods. 25 participants were included, all of which were normal weight and had normal sleeping patterns. Each participant was tested after five nights of either 4 or 9 hours in bed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The test was performed while the participant was shown healthy and unhealthy food photos in the fasted state. This study found that after a period of restricted sleep compared with habitual sleep, unhealthy foods led to greater activation in brain regions associated with reward compared with healthy foods. This finding provides a model of neuronal mechanisms relating short sleep duration to obesity and cardio-metabolic risk factors and warrants further investigation.
CONTEXT Sleep restriction alters responses to food. However, the underlying neural mechanisms for this effect are not well understood. OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a neural system that is preferentially activated in response to unhealthy compared with healthy foods. PARTICIPANTS Twenty-five normal-weight individuals, who normally slept 7-9 h per night, completed both phases of this randomized controlled study. INTERVENTION Each participant was tested after a period of five nights of either 4 or 9 h in bed. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed in the fasted state, presenting healthy and unhealthy food stimuli and objects in a block design. Neuronal responses to unhealthy, relative to healthy food stimuli after each sleep period were assessed and compared. RESULTS After a period of restricted sleep, viewing unhealthy foods led to greater activation in the superior and middle temporal gyri, middle and superior frontal gyri, left inferior parietal lobule, orbitofrontal cortex, and right insula compared with healthy foods. These same stimuli presented after a period of habitual sleep did not produce marked activity patterns specific to unhealthy foods. Further, food intake during restricted sleep increased in association with a relative decrease in brain oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) activity observed in the right insula. CONCLUSION This inverse relationship between insula activity and food intake and enhanced activation in brain reward and food-sensitive centers in response to unhealthy foods provides a model of neuronal mechanisms relating short sleep duration to obesity.