About this project
The latest scientific evidence on this topic, including the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2019 Guideline for Risk Reduction of Cognitive Decline and Dementia, and the 2020 report of the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care, was used to develop this resource. In the development of the WHO’s guidelines, AMSTAR was used to assess the quality of existing systematic reviews and the GRADE methodology was used to develop the evidence profiles.
The content of this lesson was reviewed and assessed for accuracy by our team of experts in geriatrics and mental health. There are no conflicts of interest. A panel of end-users reviewed the content and provided feedback on their user experience. This resource was first published on February 19, 2023, and was adapted from the “How to Promote Brain Health” lesson on iGeriCare.ca and the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. It was last reviewed and updated August 22, 2023.
If you have questions or comments related to this resource please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
References by Topic
The scientific references for each topic area are outlined below:
Physical Activity & Weight Management: References 1–6
Diet & Nutrition: References 6–10
Vitamins, Supplements & Anti-Oxidants: References 11,12
Coconut Oil: Reference 12
Blood Vessel Health: Reference 3
Smoking & Alcohol Use: References 6,13–18
Brain Activity: References 3,6,19–24
Social Activity: References 3,25–27
Health Conditions & Drug Side Effects: References 3,28–34
Government of Canada. Dementia in Canada, including Alzheimer’s disease. Published 2017. Updated September 21, 2017. Accessed February 17, 2023. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/dementia-highlights-canadian-chronic-disease-surveillance.html
Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet Commissions. July 30, 2020. Accessed February 17, 2023. https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(20)30367-6/fulltext
National Institute on Aging. Cognitive health and older adults. Updated October 1, 2020. Accessed February 17, 2023. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults
National Institute of Aging. What do we know about healthy aging? Updated February 23, 2022. Accessed February 17, 2023. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-do-we-know-about-healthy-aging
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for adults aged 65 years and older: An integration of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep. 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. 2021. Accessed February 17, 2023. https://csepguidelines.ca/guidelines/adults-65/
- Szuhany KL, Bugatti M, Otto MW. A meta-analytic review of the effects of exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. J Psychiatr Res. 2015;60:56-64. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.10.003
- Hamer M, Chida Y. Physical activity and risk of neurodegenerative disease: a systematic review of prospective evidence. Psychol Med. 2009;39(1):3-11. doi:DOI: 10.1017/S0033291708003681
- WHO. Risk Reduction of Cognitive Decline and Dementia: WHO Guidelines. 2019. https://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/dementia/risk_reduction_gdg_meeting/en/.
- Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Physical Activity Training for Health. 2017:1-5. www.csep.ca/guidelines.
- Northey JM, Cherbuin N, Pumpa KL, Smee DJ, Rattray B. Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018;52(3):154 LP – 160. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096587
- Dhana K, Evans DA, Rajan KB, Bennett DA, Morris MC. Healthy lifestyle and the risk of Alzheimer dementia: Findings from 2 longitudinal studies. Neurology. 2020. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000009816
- Petersson SD, Philippou E. Mediterranean Diet, Cognitive Function, and Dementia: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Adv Nutr. 2016;7(5):889-904. doi:10.3945/an.116.012138
- Berti V, Walters M, Sterling J, et al. Mediterranean diet and 3-year Alzheimer brain biomarker changes in middle-aged adults. Neurology. 2018;90(20):e1789-e1798. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000005527
- Baycrest. Which Foods Help the Brain: Brain Health Food Guide. https://www.baycrest.org/Baycrest_Centre/media/content/form_files/BHFG_optimized.pdf.
- Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, Sacks FM, Bennett DA, Aggarwal NT. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11(9):1007-1014. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009
- Rutjes AWS, Denton DA, Di Nisio M, et al. Vitamin and mineral supplementation for maintaining cognitive function in cognitively healthy people in mid and late life. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;(12). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011906.pub2
- Swaminathan A, Jicha GA. Nutrition and prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014;6:282. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00282
- Schwarzinger M, Pollock BG, Hasan OSM, Dufouil C, Rehm J. Contribution of alcohol use disorders to the burden of dementia in France 2008-13: a nationwide retrospective cohort study. Lancet Public Heal. 2018;3(3):e124-e132. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30022-7
- Peters R, Poulter R, Warner J, Beckett N, Burch L, Bulpitt C. Smoking, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly, a systematic review. BMC Geriatr. 2008;8:36. doi:10.1186/1471-2318-8-36
- Vingtdeux V, Dreses-Werringloer U, Zhao H, Davies P, Marambaud P. Therapeutic potential of resveratrol in Alzheimer’s disease. BMC Neurosci. 2008;9 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S6. doi:10.1186/1471-2202-9-S2-S6
- Braidy N, Jugder B-E, Poljak A, et al. Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease. Curr Top Med Chem. 2016;16(17):1951-1960. doi:10.2174/1568026616666160204121431
- Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-09/2012-Canada-Low-Risk-Alcohol-Drinking-Guidelines-Brochure-en.pdf.
- Butt P, Beirness D, Gliksman L, Paradis C, Stockwell T. Alcohol and Health in Canada: A Summary of Evidence and Guidelines for Low-Risk Drinking. 2011. http://www.ccsa.ca.
- Stern Y. Cognitive reserve in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. Lancet Neurol. 2012;11(11):1006-1012. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70191-6
- Gheysen F, Poppe L, DeSmet A, et al. Physical activity to improve cognition in older adults: can physical activity programs enriched with cognitive challenges enhance the effects? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2018;15(1):63. doi:10.1186/s12966-018-0697-x
- Butler M, McCreedy E, Nelson VA, et al. Does Cognitive Training Prevent Cognitive Decline? Ann Intern Med. 2017;168(1):63-68. doi:10.7326/M17-1531
- Miller KJ, Dye R V, Kim J, et al. Effect of a computerized brain exercise program on cognitive performance in older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry Off J Am Assoc Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013;21(7):655-663. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2013.01.077
- Valenzuela M, Hons M. Can Cognitive Exercise Prevent the Onset of Dementia? Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials with Longitudinal Follow-up. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009;17(March):3. www.consort-statement.org;
- Chiu H-L, Chu H, Tsai J-C, et al. The effect of cognitive-based training for the healthy older people: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS One. 2017;12(5):e0176742-e0176742. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0176742
- Kuiper JS, Zuidersma M, Oude Voshaar RC, et al. Social relationships and risk of dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies. Ageing Res Rev. 2015;22:39-57. doi:10.1016/j.arr.2015.04.006
- Dickens AP, Richards SH, Greaves CJ, Campbell JL. Interventions targeting social isolation in older people: A systematic review. BMC Public Health. 2011;11(1):647. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-647
- Gates NJ, Rutjes AW, Di Nisio M, et al. Computerised cognitive training for maintaining cognitive function in cognitively healthy people in midlife. Cochrane database Syst Rev. 2019;3(3):CD012278. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012278.pub2
- Saczynski JS, Beiser A, Seshadri S, Auerbach S, Wolf PA, Au R. Depressive symptoms and risk of dementia: the Framingham Heart Study. Neurology. 2010;75(1):35-41. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181e62138
- Prince M, Albanese E, Guerchet M, Prina M. World Alzheimer Report 2014: Dementia and Risk Reduction An Analysis of Protective and Modifiable Factors.; 2014. https://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2014.pdf.
- Lin FR, Ferrucci L. Hearing loss and falls among older adults in the United States. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(4):369-371. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.728
- Kim SY, Lim J-S, Kong IG, Choi HG. Hearing impairment and the risk of neurodegenerative dementia: A longitudinal follow-up study using a national sample cohort. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):15266. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33325-x
- Gurgel RK, Ward PD, Schwartz S, Norton MC, Foster NL, Tschanz JT. Relationship of hearing loss and dementia: a prospective, population-based study. Otol Neurotol. 2014;35(5):775-781. doi:10.1097/MAO.0000000000000313
- Medic G, Wille M, Hemels ME. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nat Sci Sleep. 2017;9:151-161. doi:10.2147/NSS.S134864