Importance of healthy lifestyle on chronic neurological conditions
IRCCS De Bellis
Dr Nicola Veronese
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The aim of this project is to investigate how lifestyle (in particular diet and physical activity) is associated with the most common neurological diseases. In addition, we will explore how these lifestyle behaviors are associated with outcomes such as cognitive function (e.g. memory, attention) and brain structures, in a range of neurological diseases.
We plan on undertaking this research to understand if healthy lifestyle (dietary patterns and physical activity) may be related to the prevention of neurological and management of diseases. As for dietary patterns, we will consider some patterns traditionally associated with lower (e.g. Mediterranean diet) or higher (e.g. dietary inflammatory index) risk of common diseases and unwanted outcomes. We will do the same for physical activity level (assessed through self-reported and devices which measure this objectively ) in order to see if higher physical activity level is associated with a lower risk of neurological conditions. Finally, we will explore the association between diet and physical activity with cognition, since dementia and cognitive issues are unfortunately common in people having all kinds of neurological conditions. In this regard, we will explore the factors that can explain any relationships that we observe.
We will undertake this research using anonymous data. The project will last 36 months and we will publish several papers regarding, present our findings at conferences and provide lay summaries for patients.
We believe that our data can be of high public health importance, since neurological diseases are very common and usually associated with a high rate of disability and low quality of life. To understand if diet and physical activity are associated with a lower risk of these conditions and to a better cognitive status is very important, in order to suggest these interventions as prevention for neurological conditions.