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Effects of Dietary and Metabolic Patterns on Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Geriatric Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 20350

Special Issue Editors

1. Geriatric Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
2. Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Interests: aging; longevity; cognitive decline; biomarkers; inflammation; cellular bioenergetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Ageing, Neurosciences, Head-Neck and Orthopaedics Sciences, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Rome, Italy
Interests: aging; longevity; cognitive decline; biomarkers; inflammation; cellular bioenergetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The worldwide increase of human life expectancy represents a phenomenon that impact substantially on public health. Cognitive decline is strongly associated with age and the consequent increasing economic burden and growing demand for care poses a serious challenge to clinicians and researchers. 

Although advancing age represents a major risk factor for cognitive decline, it is not an inevitable consequence of long life, as clearly demonstrated by centenarians who manage to preserve normal cognitive performance despite their age.

 

Lifestyle habits and environmental factors play a relevant role in preserving cognition with a large body of evidence indicating the pivotal role played by nutrition and metabolism on cognitive performance. The promotion of a healthy diet is indeed among the alleged strategies to prevent cognitive decline. This implies the need of studies addressing the role that micro- and macronutrients on metabolism and thus on cognitive performance in old age.

 

This special issue entitled “Effects of dietary and metabolic patterns on cognitive performance in older adults” is intended to bring together basic researchers and clinicians working in the area nutritional sciences, geriatrics, internal medicine, public health, and neurology. Original research or review articles from basic science to clinical and population research will be considered suitable for inclusion in the Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Beatrice Arosio
Dr. Anna Picca
Dr. Riccardo Calvani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nutrition
  • Metabolism
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation
  • Lifestyle interventions
  • Gut microbiota
  • Omics
  • Geroscience

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Liver Enzymes in a Cohort of Community-Dwelling Older Persons: Focus on Sex Contribution
Nutrients 2022, 14(23), 4973; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14234973 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Dysfunctions in liver metabolic activities may increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. In a cohort of community-dwelling older persons investigated for a suspected cognitive decline, we studied the association between liver status and dementia, considering sex and frailty contribution. Serum alanine [...] Read more.
Dysfunctions in liver metabolic activities may increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. In a cohort of community-dwelling older persons investigated for a suspected cognitive decline, we studied the association between liver status and dementia, considering sex and frailty contribution. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) concentrations, and the AST/ALT ratio were used to assess liver function in 419 older adults (248 persons with dementia and 171 age- and sex-matched subjects without cognitive decline). Although the serum concentrations of the liver enzymes were in the physiologic range, patients with dementia showed lower ALT concentrations (p = 0.005) and higher AST/ALT ratios (p = 0.003) compared to controls. The same differences were found when comparing men with and without dementia (ALT, p = 0.009; AST/ALT ratio, p = 0.003) but disappeared in women. Curiously, comparing women and men with the same diagnosis, the ALT concentrations were lower (p = 0.008), and the AST/ALT ratio was higher (p = 0.001) in control women than men, whereas no significant difference was found between persons with dementia. In conclusion, in our cohort of older people living in the community, the association between serum aminotransferases and dementia was remarked. Moreover, our results support attention to sex difference in liver function, suggesting a role in the pathogenesis of dementia. Full article
13 pages, 468 KiB  
Article
The Effects of “Diet–Smoking–Gender” Three-Way Interactions on Cognitive Impairment among Chinese Older Adults
Nutrients 2022, 14(10), 2144; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14102144 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
Investigations on gender variations in the risk factors of cognitive impairment are required to promote future precision medicine among older adults, as well as to contribute to a better understanding of the “male–female health-survival paradox”. With this study, we aimed to investigate the [...] Read more.
Investigations on gender variations in the risk factors of cognitive impairment are required to promote future precision medicine among older adults, as well as to contribute to a better understanding of the “male–female health-survival paradox”. With this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of “diet–smoking–gender” three-way interactions on cognitive impairments among Chinese older adults. We conducted a 16-year prospective cohort study among 15,953, 15,555, 16,849, 9716, 7116, and 13,165 older adults from the 2002, 2005, 2008–2009, 2011–2012, 2014, and 2017–2018 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), respectively. Cognitive impairment was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The dietary diversity score (DDS) was calculated using the CLHLS food frequency questionnaire. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to assess the “diet–smoking–gender” three-way interaction effects on cognitive impairment across the six waves of CLHLS. We found that higher dietary diversity was associated with lower probability of cognitive impairment among older adults (OR = 0.92; 95%CI = 0.90, 0.98). However, smoking behavior may negatively influence the protective effect of higher dietary diversity on cognitive function among females (OR = 1.26; 95%CI = 1.07, 1.49). Our findings imply that we should take gender differences and lifestyle behaviors into consideration in implementing dietary interventions to improve cognitive function among older adults. Full article
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10 pages, 500 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Vitamin D Status in Older Persons with Cognitive Impairment
Nutrients 2022, 14(6), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14061142 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2273
Abstract
Vitamin D exerts a role in the maintenance of cognitive abilities and in frailty. Although several studies evaluated the interactions between vitamin D and cognitive impairment, results were conflicting. In a cohort of community-dwelling older persons, we described the association between vitamin D [...] Read more.
Vitamin D exerts a role in the maintenance of cognitive abilities and in frailty. Although several studies evaluated the interactions between vitamin D and cognitive impairment, results were conflicting. In a cohort of community-dwelling older persons, we described the association between vitamin D levels and cognitive decline and all-cause dementia evaluating frailty’s contribution. Our cohort included 509 adults, aged 64–92 years: 176 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 59 with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), 26 with idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (iNPH), 133 with mixed dementia (MD) and 115 without cognitive decline. Frailty was measured by frailty index, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations through electrochemiluminescence immunoassays. We found a significant association between vitamin D levels and Mini Mental State Examination independently of cognitive impairment, age, sex and frailty. The patients with dementia (AD and MD) showed the lowest vitamin D levels, while MCI patients showed higher levels than the other groups. The most severe deficiency was observed in MD patients, the most aged as well as cognitively and functionally impaired. In conclusion, in our community-dwelling older persons investigated for a suspected cognitive impairment, we observed an association between vitamin D levels and cognitive decline, regardless of the frailty status. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 1184 KiB  
Review
Sarcopenia and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: Targeting the Muscle–Brain Axis
Nutrients 2023, 15(8), 1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15081853 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3318
Abstract
Declines in physical performance and cognition are commonly observed in older adults. The geroscience paradigm posits that a set of processes and pathways shared among age-associated conditions may also serve as a molecular explanation for the complex pathophysiology of physical frailty, sarcopenia, and [...] Read more.
Declines in physical performance and cognition are commonly observed in older adults. The geroscience paradigm posits that a set of processes and pathways shared among age-associated conditions may also serve as a molecular explanation for the complex pathophysiology of physical frailty, sarcopenia, and cognitive decline. Mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, metabolic alterations, declines in cellular stemness, and altered intracellular signaling have been observed in muscle aging. Neurological factors have also been included among the determinants of sarcopenia. Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are synapses bridging nervous and skeletal muscle systems with a relevant role in age-related musculoskeletal derangement. Patterns of circulating metabolic and neurotrophic factors have been associated with physical frailty and sarcopenia. These factors are mostly related to disarrangements in protein-to-energy conversion as well as reduced calorie and protein intake to sustain muscle mass. A link between sarcopenia and cognitive decline in older adults has also been described with a possible role for muscle-derived mediators (i.e., myokines) in mediating muscle–brain crosstalk. Herein, we discuss the main molecular mechanisms and factors involved in the muscle–brain axis and their possible implication in cognitive decline in older adults. An overview of current behavioral strategies that allegedly act on the muscle–brain axis is also provided. Full article
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16 pages, 849 KiB  
Review
Age-Associated Glia Remodeling and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegeneration: Antioxidant Supplementation as a Possible Intervention
Nutrients 2022, 14(12), 2406; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14122406 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3174
Abstract
Aging induces substantial remodeling of glia, including density, morphology, cytokine expression, and phagocytic capacity. Alterations of glial cells, such as hypertrophy of lysosomes, endosomes and peroxisomes, and the progressive accumulation of lipofuscin, lipid droplets, and other debris have also been reported. These abnormalities [...] Read more.
Aging induces substantial remodeling of glia, including density, morphology, cytokine expression, and phagocytic capacity. Alterations of glial cells, such as hypertrophy of lysosomes, endosomes and peroxisomes, and the progressive accumulation of lipofuscin, lipid droplets, and other debris have also been reported. These abnormalities have been associated with significant declines of microglial processes and reduced ability to survey the surrounding tissue, maintain synapses, and recover from injury. Similarly, aged astrocytes show reduced capacity to support metabolite transportation to neurons. In the setting of reduced glial activity, stressors and/or injury signals can trigger a coordinated action of microglia and astrocytes that may amplify neuroinflammation and contribute to the release of neurotoxic factors. Oxidative stress and proteotoxic aggregates may burst astrocyte-mediated secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus activating microglia, favoring microgliosis, and ultimately making the brain more susceptible to injury and/or neurodegeneration. Here, we discuss the contribution of microglia and astrocyte oxidative stress to neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, highlight the pathways that may help gain insights into their molecular mechanisms, and describe the benefits of antioxidant supplementation-based strategies. Full article
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22 pages, 1452 KiB  
Review
Effects of Dietary Food Components on Cognitive Functions in Older Adults
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2804; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082804 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 6916
Abstract
Population aging has recently been an important issue as the number of elderly people is growing worldwide every year, and the extension of social security costs is financially costly. The increase in the number of elderly people with cognitive decline is a serious [...] Read more.
Population aging has recently been an important issue as the number of elderly people is growing worldwide every year, and the extension of social security costs is financially costly. The increase in the number of elderly people with cognitive decline is a serious problem related to the aging of populations. Therefore, it is necessary to consider not only physical care but also cognitive patterns in the future care of older adults. Since food contains a variety of bioactive substances, dietary patterns may help improve age-related cognitive decline. However, the relationship between cognitive function and individual food components remains ambiguous as no clear efficacy or mechanism has been confirmed. Against this background, this review summarizes previous reports on the biological process of cognitive decline in the elderly and the relationship between individual compounds in foods and cognitive function, as well as the role of individual components of food in cognitive function, in the following order: lipids, carotenoids, vitamins, phenolic compounds, amino acids, peptides, and proteins. Based on the research presented in this review, a proper diet that preserves cognitive function has the potential to improve age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Hopefully, this review will help to trigger the development of new foods and technologies that improve aging and cognitive functions and extend the healthy life span. Full article
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