Send to

Choose Destination
Maturitas. 2014 Oct;79(2):170-3. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.07.012.

Non-pharmacological strategies to delay cognitive decline.

Author information

The Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, St. Vincent's Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia; School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences & WA Centre for Health and Ageing, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Electronic address:
Centre for Research on Ageing Health and Wellbeing, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.


Non-pharmacological preventive strategies to delay cognitive decline have become the focus of recent research. This review aims to discuss evidence supporting the use of physical and cognitive activity to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in later life. Both strategies are associated with better cognitive health in older adults. This positive effect seems stronger for middle-aged and older adults with normal cognition and less clear when cognitive impairment is present. Physical and cognitive activities have been linked to indirect and direct biological factors affecting brain health. Future research will need to explore details about type, intensity, duration and combination of interventions. An important aim is standardization between studies, as well as evidence of improved clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Identifying strategies that succeed at sustaining improved lifestyle is necessary, and the use of modern technology could play a crucial role in this regard. In the meantime advice on physical and cognitive activities should be included when health advice is given to middle-aged and older adults.


Ageing; Alzheimer's disease; Cognitive decline; Dementia; Exercise; Non-pharmacological

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center