Diet, exercise and dementia: The potential impact of a Mediterranean diet pattern and physical activity on cognitive health in a UK population

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Diet and physical activity play key roles in maintaining health and preventing or delaying disease. The global prevalence of dementia, an umbrella term describing a set of symptoms which affect cognitive function, is set to rise dramatically by 2050, with current drug treatments inadequate. Diet and physical activity are modifiable factors in dementia, influencing both disease risk and pathophysiology. It has been known since the 1950s that a Mediterranean diet has positive health benefits. Over the past 25 years, a causal link has been shown between consumption of a Mediterranean diet and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly in Mediterranean countries. There have also been indications that a Mediterranean diet and increased physical activity can improve cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. However, causative demonstrations of these effects, as well as the feasibility of implementing such lifestyle changes in a non‐Mediterranean population, are lacking. The new MedEx‐UK programme will attempt to address both these points.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Issue number3
Early online date10 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • dementia
  • Mediterranean diet
  • physical activity
  • randomised controlled trial

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