The role of nutrition in cognitive function and brain ageing in the elderly

Document Type

Journal Article


Springer Nature


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


Originally published as:

Gardener, S. L., & Rainey-Smith, S. R. (2018). The role of nutrition in cognitive function and brain ageing in the elderly. Current nutrition reports, 7(3), 139-149.

Original article available here.


Purpose of Review

The purposes of this review were to examine literature published over the last 5 years and to evaluate the role of nutrition in cognitive function and brain ageing, focussing on the Mediterranean diet (MeDi), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diets.

Recent Findings

Results suggest that higher adherence to a healthy dietary pattern is associated with preservation of brain structure and function as well as slower cognitive decline, with the MIND diet substantially slowing cognitive decline, over and above the MeDi and DASH diets.


Whilst results to-date suggest adherence to a healthy diet, such as the MeDi, DASH, or MIND, is an important modifiable risk factor in the quest to develop strategies aimed at increasing likelihood of healthy brain ageing, further work is required to develop dietary guidelines with the greatest potential benefit for public health; a research topic of increasing importance as the world’s population ages.