Newswise — Researchers at RUSH are seeking volunteers to explore how a change in diet may improve brain health after a stroke.

The study, called NOURISH — short for Nutrition Effects on Brain Outcomes and Recovery in Stroke After Hospitalization — aims to prevent cognitive and memory decline that is common in stroke survivors.

“We know that stroke survivors are twice as likely to develop dementia compared to the general population,” said Neelum Aggarwal, MD, a cognitive neurologist in the RUSH Alzheimer’s Disease Center and professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences. “We hope to find out whether a specific diet helps prevent dementia and memory problems that we commonly see in stroke survivors.”

“Many research studies show that there are foods that promote brain health, including vegetables, berries, fish and olive oil, which we hope will also help stroke survivors maintain their cognition,” said Christy Tangney, PhD, nutritionist and professor in the departments of Clinical Nutrition and Family and Preventive Medicine. “If we find that specific foods slow cognitive decline in stroke survivors, our dietitians could advise stroke survivors how to incorporate these foods in order to preserve memory and brain function.”

To be eligible to take part in the study, participants must be 55 years or older, recently been admitted to the hospital for a new ischemic stroke and are being discharged home or to rehab for after stroke care.

Those interested in participating in the study can learn more at the NOURISH website.