Demographic changes, together with improvements in nutrition, general health, and life expectancy, will greatly change the social and economic structures of most industrialized and developing countries in the next 50 years. Extended life expectancy has increased the number of chronic illnesses and disabilities, including cognitive impairments. Inflammatory processes and vascular dysfunctions appear to play important roles in the pathogenesis of age-associated pathologies including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. A large body of evidence shows that both vitamins E and C are important for the central nervous system and that a decrease in their concentrations causes structural and functional damage to the cells. Several studies reveal a link between diets rich in fruits and vegetables containing generous amounts of vitamins E and C and lower incidence of certain chronic diseases.