Dietary changes and cognition over 2 years within a multidomain intervention trial-The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER)

Alzheimers Dement. 2019 Mar;15(3):410-417. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


Introduction: Association between healthy diet and better cognition is well established, but evidence is limited to evaluate the effect of dietary changes adopted in older age.

Methods: We investigated the role of dietary changes in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) with 1260 at-risk participants (60-77 years) who were randomized to intensive multidomain intervention (including dietary counseling) or regular health advice for 2 years. Parallel process latent growth curves of adherence to dietary recommendations and cognitive performance were analyzed.

Results: Adherence to healthy diet at baseline predicted improvement in global cognition, regardless of intervention allocation (P = .003). Dietary improvement was associated with beneficial changes in executive function, especially in the intervention group (P = .008; P = .051 for groups combined).

Discussion: Dietary changes initiated during the intervention were related to changes in executive function in 2 years. Long-term diet appeared more influential for global cognition.

Trial registration: NCT01041989.

Keywords: Cognitive performance; Diet; Growth curve analysis; Older adults; Prevention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data