In the case of dementia, it might not be what you eat, but more of what combination of foods you eat, which increases your risk of developing the neurodegenerative disorder. Researchers found those whose diets consisted mostly of highly-processed meats, starchy foods, and sugary snacks were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later in life that those who consumed healthier foods.
Eating processed food which contains Propionic Acid (PPA) during pregnancy may affect neural stem cell development in the fetal brain. Excessive PPA reduces the number of neurons and over-produces glial cells, causing inflammation. Additionally, PPA shortens neural pathways. The combination of damaged pathways and reduced neurons may be associated with behavioral deficits associated with ASD.
A new study reports eating processed meats could contribute to mania associated with bipolar disorder. Researchers found people who had been hospitalized for mania were 3.5 times more likely to have eaten cured meats prior to admittance.