Can dietary patterns prevent cognitive impairment and reduce Alzheimer's disease risk: Exploring the underlying mechanisms of effects

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2022 Apr:135:104556. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104556. Epub 2022 Feb 3.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the fastest growing cognitive decline-related neurological diseases. To date, effective curative strategies have remained elusive. A growing body of evidence indicates that dietary patterns have significant effects on cognitive function and the risk of developing AD. Previous studies on the association between diet and AD risk have mainly focused on individual food components and specific nutrients, and the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of dietary patterns on AD are not well understood. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the effects of dietary patterns, including the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet, Mediterranean-DASH diet intervention for neurological delay (MIND), ketogenic diet, caloric restriction, intermittent fasting, methionine restriction, and low-protein and high-carbohydrate diet, on cognitive impairment and summarizes the underlying mechanisms by which dietary patterns attenuate cognitive impairment, especially highlighting the modulation of dietary patterns on cognitive impairment through gut microbiota. Furthermore, considering the variability in individual metabolic responses to dietary intake, we put forward a framework to develop personalized dietary patterns for people with cognitive disorders or AD based on individual gut microbiome compositions.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Cognitive impairment; DASH; Dietary patterns; Dietary restriction; Gut microbiome; Ketogenic diet; MIND; Mediterranean; Personalized nutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / prevention & control
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension*
  • Humans