Maintaining brain health across the lifespan

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2023 Oct:153:105365. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2023.105365. Epub 2023 Aug 19.


Across the lifespan, the human body and brain endure the impact of a plethora of exogenous and endogenous factors that determine the health outcome in old age. The overwhelming inter-individual variance spans between progressive frailty with loss of autonomy to largely preserved physical, cognitive, and social functions. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the diverse aging trajectories can inform future strategies to maintain a healthy body and brain. Here we provide a comprehensive overview of the current literature on lifetime factors governing brain health. We present the growing body of evidence that unhealthy alimentary regime, sedentary behaviour, sleep pathologies, cardio-vascular risk factors, and chronic inflammation exert their harmful effects in a cumulative and gradual manner, and that timely and efficient intervention could promote healthy and successful aging. We discuss the main effects and interactions between these risk factors and the resulting brain health outcomes to follow with a description of current strategies aiming to eliminate, treat, or counteract the risk factors. We conclude that the detailed insights about modifiable risk factors could inform personalized multi-domain strategies for brain health maintenance on the background of increased longevity.

Keywords: Brain; Cardio-vascular system; Cognitive; Inflammation; Longevity; Nutrition; Physical activity; Sleep.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Brain*
  • Humans
  • Longevity*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior