Expert Comment: Dr. Iva Holmerova from Alzheimer Europe

October 13, 2014
Iva Holmerová, a member of the Steering Committee for this year’s Alzheimer Europe conference, provides background on a lunchtime symposium, sponsored by ISIC, which will explore the role of nutrition in Alzheimer’s Disease prevention.

The role of nutrition is an emerging area in Alzheimer’s research and the potential benefits of drinking coffee, on both a nutritional and a social level, are very interesting.

Cognitive decline is a feature of aging, and although some changes can be expected in all of us, there is some evidence that diet and lifestyle may be related to cognition.  In fact epidemiological studies suggest that certain lifestyle factors and nutritional elements, including consumption of coffee and caffeine, may help to slow the age related cognitive decline seen in the older generation.

The satellite symposium “Nutrition and cognitive function” will take place on Wednesday 22 October at 13:00, and will explore the role nutrition can play in the risk reduction of Alzheimer’s Disease. Three expert speakers in this area will present the latest research developments, and discuss the findings further during an open debate.

Professor Neville Vassallo, a senior lecturer at University of Malta, will explore the wider area of nutrition, and its role in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. His research interests lie in neurodegenerative disorders, medicinal chemistry, neurochemistry and mitochondria.

He will be joined by Professor Arfan Ikram, a professor of epidemiology at Erasmus MC, The Netherlands, who will review the epidemiological evidence for the relationship between coffee consumption and Alzheimer’s Disease. Professor Ikram is also leading a four year research project exploring the role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of dementia development.

Completing the speaker line up is Professor Astrid Nehlig, a research director from the French National Medical Research Institute (INSERM) whose previous research has focused on the effects of coffee and caffeine on brain function.Professor Nehlig will explain the potential underlying mechanisms of the relationship between coffee consumption and cognitive decline.

We are very pleased to have ISIC involved in this year’s conference, and I am personally looking forward to chairing the symposium and learning more about the latest research in this area.


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