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Ageing Res Rev. 2015 Mar;20:74-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2014.10.003. Epub 2014 Oct 18.

Cognitive health and Mediterranean diet: just diet or lifestyle pattern?

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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.
Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; Department of Social Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Electronic address:


Mediterranean diet is a term used to describe the traditional eating habits of people in Crete, South Italy and other Mediterranean countries. It is a predominantly plant-based diet, with olive oil being the main type of added fat. There are many observational studies exploring the potential association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cognitive decline. The present review focuses on longitudinal studies with repeated cognitive assessments. It also evaluates evidence on behaviors related to the Mediterranean way of living, that have been shown to be associated with cognition, namely social interaction, participation in leisure activities, including physical activities, and sleep quality. The synergistic association-effect of these lifestyle behaviors, including diet, is unknown. Lifestyle patterns may constitute a new research and public health perspective.


Alzheimer's disease; Behaviors; Cognitive decline; Lifestyle; Mediterranean diet; Nutrition

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