NeuRA Magazine #28


Multiple studies have found that the food we eat can significantly affect our risk of cognitive impairment. One diet in particular, the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, has demonstrated notable correlations with improved brain health and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

What is the MIND diet?

As the name implies, the MIND diet is derived from the Mediterranean and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. The MIND diet emphasises healthy eating habits with a focus on categories such as nuts, berries, leafy green vegetables, other vegetables, wine, beans, fish, poultry, whole grains and olive oil. It also limits food from unhealthy categories such as fried food, pastries, sweets, butter or margarine, red meat and cheese.

Multiple research studies have looked into whether the MIND diet helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Of a cohort of 960 older adults, researchers found that high adherence to the MIND diet was connected to a slowing down of cognitive decline that typically occurs with ageing.

Find out more

Read our blog: Top 10 foods for reducing your risk of dementia

See what’s going on at NeuRA


ReacStep – novel balance training programs to prevent falls in older adults

The ReacStep study is investigating the short-term effects of two balance training programs (i.e. reactive balance training and conventional balance training) on balance recovery from slips and trips in older adults. These programs are designed from evidence-based research and offer a challenging and unique experience to improving balance. The ReacStep team are calling on volunteers who: are aged 65 and over living independently in the Sydney metropolitan community can walk 500m comfortably with mobility aids or rest have not been advised by a medical practitioner not to exercise have no neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.) have no history or lower limb, pelvic or vertebral fracture(s) and/or lower limb joint replacement(s) in the past 6 months have no other existing conditions that may prevent them from exercising (e.g. injury, pain, fatigue, etc.) Eligible volunteers will be subjected to a health and safety screening before they are enrolled and randomly allocated into one of the two groups. Both groups will undertake a 3-week training program with an exercise physiologist, at NeuRA (i.e. in Randwick) as well as a balance recovery assessment at the 4-week time point. Reactive balance training involves intentionally stepping on a sliding tile, stepping over obstacles, trigger-release recovery as well as strength training. Participants will be wearing a full-body safety harness to ensure safety. Conventional balance training involves keeping balance in varying foot positions (i.e. feet together, in tandem or on one leg) whilst performing secondary tasks such as throwing a ball, card sorting, solving a maze or playing computer games. For more detailed information, read the Participant Information Statement and watch the video below. To get involved or to register your interest, click HERE. For all other queries, please contact the ReacStep Team on 02 9399 1002 or HC210350