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Approved Research

Nutrition omics and brain health

Principal Investigator: Dr Marilyn Cornelis
Approved Research ID: 84017
Approval date: July 14th 2022

Lay summary

Specific diet and nutrient factors have been implicated in neurological health but causal mechanisms are unclear. Moreover, while there are several proposed routes by which diet may affect neurochemistry and brain function, there are likely other routes yet to be discovered.

Over the next three years, we propose to investigate genetic, blood and brain imaging markers correlated with diet/nutrient intake and neurodegenerative disease such as dementia and Parkinson's disease. First, we will identify brain imaging signatures of select nutrient/diet exposures, accounting for genetic variation. Second, we will examine whether identified diet-imaging signatures mediate the association between diet and neurodegenerative conditions. The number of UK Biobank participants with overlapping measures of diet, genetics and imaging data exceeds that of any other cohort to-date and thus provides a unique a powerful opportunity to better understand mechanisms linking diet to neurodegeneration. Such knowledge may better inform nutritional guidelines to prevent or treat neurological conditions.