Polyphenols as an Effective Therapeutic Intervention Against Cognitive Decline During Normal and Pathological Brain Aging

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020:1260:159-174. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-42667-5_7.


Research in animals and humans has indicated that polyphenols can delay the age-related decline in learning, memory and neurodegenerative diseases. Among the polyphenols, berry phenolics have extensive beneficial effects because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Long-term consumption of grapes results in accumulation of polyphenols in the brain, which modulates cell-signalling pathways and neutralises the redox imbalance in the aging brain. Here we review the in vivo and in vitro evidence for considering grape-derived polyphenolics, the flavonoids- catechins, epicatechin, anthocyanidin, and quercetin, and non-flavonoids-gallic acid and resveratrol, as effective dietary sources to facilitate cognition in adults and lessen the decline in the old and pathogenic states, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, a combined intervention of polyphenols along with regular physical exercise provides cognitive benefits for the aging brain and holds promising venues for preclinical and clinical studies in formulating neuro-nutraceuticals as functional foods for a healthy brain.

Keywords: Aging; Antioxidants; Brain; Cognition; Flavonoids; Neuro-nutraceuticals; Neurodegenerative diseases; Polyphenols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / prevention & control*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Polyphenols