Researchers at the esteemed Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia have made a surprising discovery. They found a link between extra-virgin Olive Oil and reducing conditions that are associated with Alzheimer's disease. It was also found that it protects memory loss and the ability to learn. The study was published in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal, 'Annals of Clinical Translational Neurology.' This research now adds to the various health benefits that olive oil has been noted for.

Mice, olive oil, and Alzheimer's disease

The researchers at Temple University discovered this link by doing experiments on mice. They found that the mice who got extra-virgin olive oil-enriched diets had sharper memories and learning abilities in contrast to the mice who did not get receive any. The actual effect of the extra-virgin olive oil showed up in the inner-workings of the brain, with the neuron connection being better preserved in the mice with the olive oil diet.

The two groups of mice did not change appearance wise. They were tested after nine months and a year, with the olive oil mice testing higher on spatial memory, working memory and learning ability. It was also found that these mice had reduced brain inflammation.

Their autophagy process was also activated, through which intracellular toxins and waste are removed. These intracellular toxins and waste are solid indicators of Alzheimer's disease. It is widely suspected that a reduction in the autophagy process signals the onset of the disease. The next step for the researchers is to see what effects introducing olive oil in older mice will have.

What is Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the United States of America. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the horrible disease usually takes effect after age 60 in the form of mild memory loss. From there it will go on to affect a person's memory, thought, and language.

There is currently no known cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Cases of the disease have also been on the rise in recent decades and will continue to increase in the future as American's population ages and lives longer. In 2013, there were around 5 million Americans who had the Alzheimer's. By 2050, that number is expected to almost triple to around 14 million. Worldwide currently around 44 million people have the disease or related dementia.