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Protective role of the Mediterranean diet against the development of age-related cognitive disorders: an umbrella review of meta-analyses
* 1 , 2
1  Department of Public Health, AUSL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia (Italy)
2  University Hospital of Parma (Italy)
Academic Editor: David Nieman


This umbrella review was aimed at understanding if the Mediterranean diet can have a protective role against the development of age-related cognitive disorders. PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, EMBASE, Scopus and the DOAJ were systematically searched for relevant meta-analyses published in the last 10 years (up to October 2021). After the article selection process, 6 research works met inclusion criteria. Pooled results of these meta-analyses indicated that following a Mediterranean diet can be associated with a reduction in the risk of developing cognitive disorders (mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease), although in one study the overall result was not statistically significant. In particular, people following a Mediterranean diet may be up to 40% less likely to develop age-related neurodegenerative disorders associated with impaired cognition. In consideration of demographic and epidemiological trends that suggest a substantial rise in cognitive disorder prevalence in the near future, promoting the Mediterranean diet can be a useful public health strategy for healthy aging and disease prevention (GRADE 1B). Additional studies are recommended to strengthen current indications.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Nutrition; Dementia; Cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease; Literature review