Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging





First Page


Last Page



Springer Nature


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care




Australian Alzheimer's Research Foundation


Castro, C. B., Costa, L. M., Dias, C. B., Chen, J., Hillebrandt, H., Gardener, S. L., . . . Sohrabi, H. R. (2023). Multi-domain interventions for dementia prevention–a systematic review. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 27(12), 1271-1280.


Objectives: There is a growing incidence of cognitive decline and dementia associated with the ageing population. Lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and cognitive activities may individually or collectively be undertaken to increase one’s odds of preventing cognitive decline and future dementia. This study will examine whether clinical trials using multidomain lifestyle intervention can significantly decrease the risk of cognitive decline and therefore dementia. Design, Setting and Participants: This systematic literature review of multidomain lifestyle interventions for the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia followed the PRISMA guidelines. Clinical trials involving multidomain intervention (i.e., diet and physical activity, or without cognitive training) in older adults ( ≥ 49 years old) at higher risk of dementia were identified through 5 electronic databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and Scopus). A comprehensive search was performed to identify and retrieve publications until 15 November 2022. Trials were published in English. Results: The included studies (n=15) assessed change in cognition in response to a multidomain lifestyle intervention. However, the cognitive outcome measures used in these studies were heterogeneous. Despite this heterogeneity, two thirds of the studies showed improvement in cognition following a multidomain intervention (n=10 with a total of 9,439 participants). However, five studies reported no improvement in cognition following the multidomain intervention. The most common form of dietary intervention included higher amount of fruit and vegetable intake; whole-grain cereal products instead of refined; low fat options in milk and meat products; and limiting sucrose intake to less than 50 g/day. Most clinical trial studies were powered to examining the effects of multidomain interventions in cognition but were not designed to test the contribution of individual domains (i.e., dietary changes, increased physical activity, or increased cognitive stimulation alone). Conclusion: This systematic review aimed to determine the effect of multimodal lifestyle interventions on cognitive outcomes in older adults at risk of dementia. We found that participants with conditions that may increase the risk of dementia, (e.g., hypertension, cardiovascular fragility) do benefit from multi-modal lifestyle changes including diet, physical activity, and cognitive training. Two thirds of studies using multidomain lifestyle interventions showed improvements in cognitive function. Trials with a focus on cognitive training, dietary improvement, and physical activity may prevent or delay cognitive decline in older adults including those at risk of developing dementia. Future studies should consider longer follow-up periods and adequate power to be able to examine the effects of each lifestyle component in the context of multimodal interventions.

Additional Information

The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging is published by Elsevier as of January 1st, 2024.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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