About this Research Topic
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are becoming one of the leading health burdens worldwide. NDDs represent health conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the human brain and result in progressive degeneration or death of nerve cells. Amongst them, Alzheimer's disease represents 60-70 % of all neurodegenerative cases around the world.
NDDs are considered incurable and debilitating conditions, lacking efficient therapy that could reverse their neuro-destructive direction. Thus, there is an ultimate need for the development of new comprehensive approaches in caring for the persons suffering from NDDs nutritional interventions that represent a promising approach to improve patients' health or delay progression of NDDs.
Current nutritional strategies are mainly focused on alleviating the symptoms that NDDs patients are experiencing: inflammation, modified metabolomics, impoverished commensal microbiota expressed as dysbiosis, and loss of neuronal structures that accompany most of NDDs. Several nutritional regimens have been examined as part of the management of NDDs patients. Among them, Mediterranean diet with diverse foods of wide nutritional values appeared to be the most successful.
This Research Topic aims to collect original research studies, meta-analysis, mini-reviews and case reports, focused on developing nutritional strategies to improve wellbeing of patients with NDD and also deliver diet approaches that reduce the risk of developing such disease. Interaction of a person's genes and environmental factors contributes to the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease. Nutritional habits account for an important epigenetic factor that plays part into NDD etiology. An individual may be more vulnerable due to genetic background that predisposes them to NDDs. For them it is especially important to follow a healthy lifestyle which could help delay potential disease incidence. Other stressors, such as psychological and physiological trauma, infections, drugs, sleep difficulties, environmental toxins etc., indeed play a role.
In addition, this Research Topic will look at nutritional approaches to manage NDDs symptoms in relation to cognition and memory recall. Moreover, studies looking at the role of diet for optimal gut health and functional microbiota-gut-brain axis, in the context of NDD, will be another interest of this special collection. Contributions are expected to cover at least one of the NDDs symptoms where alleviation has been demonstrated in correlation to protective foods used. A special interest will be given to research reports of foods with potential anti-inflammatory effects that are neuroprotective and promote brain health, with a favorable impact on human microbiome.
NDDs (Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple sclerosis, Huntington disease etc.) represent progressive destruction of neuronal tissues. We now know that specific nutrition for NDDs patients' well-being is necessary. Patients' metabolism, neuro-energetics, oxidative status, neural regeneration, neuro-inflammation and brain nutrition can change significantly and lead to impaired brain function. NDDs demand modified nutritional intake for the person's daily functioning, even more so with the progression of disease. There are several potential strategies to improve nutritional habits of NDDs patients. A growing body of evidence demonstrates high consumption of plant-based wholefoods, e.g. from vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, improves a number of symptoms characteristic of NDD. Therefore, the Research Topic will focus on nutritional food constituents including: nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, polyunsaturated and short chain fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics, herbs and spices, polyphenols, flavonoids, wine components and sea foods, that could potentially play part in prevention and treatment strategies addressing specific NNDs symptoms.
We would also like to acknowledge that Tina Tinkara Peternelj, PhD (University of Primorska, Slovenia) acted as a Topic Coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal of this Research Topic.
Keywords: Neurodegeneration, Nutrition, Nutriceuticals, Natural Compounds, Microbiome
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