Dietary Patterns, Physical Activity, Sleep, and Risk for Dementia and Cognitive Decline

Chen Zhao, James M. Noble, Karen Marder, Jacob S. Hartman, Yian Gu, Nikolaos Scarmeas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Diet, physical activity, and sleep are three major modifiable lifestyle factors. This selective review examines the evidence for strong and reliable associations between these three lifestyle factors and risk of dementia and cognitive decline, in an effort to assist clinicians with providing more informed answers to the common questions they face from patients. Recent Findings: Certain aspects of nutrition can decrease risk for dementia. Physical activity has also been associated with delayed or slower age-related cognitive decline. In addition, emerging evidence links sleep dysfunction and dementia, with amyloid deposition being a possible mediator. Summary: Data from further clinical trials are needed before more definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding the efficacy of these lifestyle interventions for lowering the risk of incident dementia and cognitive decline. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to make recommendations to our patients to adopt certain dietary changes and to engage in regular physical activity to improve cardiovascular risk factors for dementia. It is also reasonable to include questions on sleep during cognitive evaluations of the elderly, given the common co-occurrence of sleep dysfunction and cognitive impairment in the elderly population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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