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Port Adelaide, Australia

Knight A.,Alliance for Research in Exercise | Bryan J.,Alliance for Research in Exercise | Wilson C.,University of South Australia | Hodgson J.,University of Western Australia | Murphy K.,Alliance for Research in Exercise
BMC Geriatrics

Background: The incidence of age-related cognitive decline is rising considerably around the world. There is evidence from a number of recent cross-sectional and prospective studies indicating positive associations between the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MedDiet) and improved cognitive outcomes among the elderly including, reduced age-related cognitive decline and enhanced age-related cognitive performance. However, to date no study has validated these associations in healthy older adult populations (≥65 years and above) with randomised evidence. The main aim of the present study is to provide justified evidence regarding the efficacy of a MedDiet approach to safely reduce the onset of cognitive decline, and promote optimal cognitive performance among healthy older adults using rigorous, randomised intervention methodology. Methods/Design: MedLey is a 6-month, randomised controlled 2-cohort parallel group intervention trial, with initial assessment at baseline and repeated every three months. A sample of 166 healthy Australian men and women aged 65 years and above, with normal cognitive function and proficient in English language were recruited from metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia for the study. Participants randomly allocated to the experimental group are required to maintain an intervention dietary pattern based from the traditional Cretan MedDiet (i.e. vegetables, fruits, olive oil, legumes, fish, whole grain cereals, nuts and seeds and low consumption of processed foods, dairy products, red meat and vegetable oils) for six months, while those participants allocated to the control group are asked to maintain their customary lifestyle and diet. The primary outcome of interest is the quantitative difference in age-related cognitive performance, as measured by latent variables (cognitive constructs) sensitive to normal ageing and diet (i.e. speed of processing, memory, attention, executive functions, visual spatial and visuomotor ability). Secondary outcomes include change in biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress, lipid metabolism, glucose, insulin, blood flow velocity, and psychological well-being factors (i.e. stress, sleep, anxiety, depression). Discussion: To our knowledge this will be one of the first randomised clinical trials worldwide to provide evidence for the cause-effect relationship between the MedDiet and age-related cognitive function in a healthy older adult population (≥65 years and over). Trial registration: Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12613000602729. © 2015 Knight et al. Source

Knight A.,University of South Australia | Knight A.,Alliance for Research in Exercise | Bryan J.,University of South Australia | Bryan J.,Alliance for Research in Exercise | And 2 more authors.
Ageing Research Reviews

The rise in the ageing population has resulted in increased incident rates of cognitive impairment and dementia. The subsequent financial and societal burden placed on an already strained public health care system is of increasing concern. Evidence from recent studies has revealed modification of lifestyle and dietary behaviours is, at present, the best means of prevention. Some of the most important findings, in relation to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the contemporary Western diet, and potential molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of these two diets on age-related cognitive function, are discussed in this review. A major aim of this review was to discuss whether or not a MedDiet intervention would be a feasible preventative approach against cognitive decline for older adults living in Western countries. Critical appraisal of the literature does somewhat support this idea. Demonstrated evidence highlights the MedDiet as a potential strategy to reduce cognitive decline in older age, and suggests the Western diet may play a role in the aetiology of cognitive decline. However, strong intrinsic Western socio-cultural values, traditions and norms may impede on the feasibility of this notion. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

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