An estimated 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, with numbers set to rise to over one million by 2025.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of the brain disorder, affecting 62 percent of those diagnosed.
Patients suffer memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
A new study has shown that following a Mediterranean diet can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to three years.
Even more promising, the findings suggest that the Mediterranean style of eating could even stop the disease occurring altogether.
Lisa Mosconi at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York scanned the brains of 70 healthy adults, half who followed the Mediterranean diet, and half who followed a typically Western diet. The findings were published in New Scientist magazine.
The brain images of two women were displayed side by side. They were both in their early 50s and ate very different diets.
The first was an MRI scan of a women who has eaten a Mediterranean-style diet most of her life.
“Her brain takes up most of the space inside the skull,” she observed. “The ventricles, those little butterfly-shaped fissures in the middle of the brain, are small and compact.
“The hippocampus – the memory centre of the brain – is well-rounded and in close contact with the surrounding tissues.”
GETTYThe Mediterranean diet can prevent Alzheimer’s disease from occurring