Examining Dietary Patterns to Reduce Cognitive Decline

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Grace Byfield



Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


Many cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are caused by modifiable risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Previous research studies indicate that the Mediterranean diet, DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), and MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) help slow cognitive impairment. This study examined the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND diet; to determine which diet is most effective in reducing cognitive decline. We performed a systematic review and identified 9 papers using the following terms: cognitive decline, dietary pattern, DASH diet, Mediterranean diet, MIND diet, and dietary pattern. In each literature review there were 800-900 participants that had to be dementia free before beginning the study. The Covariates used in the literature reviews were: 1) age, 2) the number of years of education, 3) the presence of Apolipoprotein E genotypes, 4) caloric intake, 5) physical activities, and 6) cognitive activities. The Mediterranean diet score ranged from 0-9, the MIND diet score ranged from 0-1, and the DASH diet score ranged from 0-10. Graphs were created to compare the dietary and cognitive scores of each diet. While the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND diet, were all effective in reducing cognitive impairment, the MIND diet was the most effective.

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