Mediterranean diet and structural neuroimaging biomarkers of Alzheimer's and cerebrovascular disease: A systematic review

Sarah Gregory, Hannah Pullen, Craig W. Ritchie, Oliver M. Shannon, Emma J. Stevenson, Graciela Muniz-terrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Previous studies have demonstrated an association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and better cognitive performance, lower incidence of dementia and lower Alzheimer's disease biomarker burden. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence base for MedDiet associations with hippocampal volume and white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV). We searched systematically for studies reporting on MedDiet and hippocampal volume or WMHV in MedLine, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycInfo. Searches were initially carried out on 21st July 2021 with final searches run on 23rd November 2022. Risk of bias was assessed using the NIH Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Of an initial 112 papers identified, seven papers were eligible for inclusion in the review reporting on 21,933 participants. Four studies reported on hippocampal volume, with inconclusive or no associations seen with MedDiet adherence. Two studies found a significant association between higher MedDiet adherence and lower WMHV, while two other studies found no significant associations. Overall these results highlight a gap in our knowledge about the associations between the MedDiet and AD and cerebrovascular related structural neuroimaging findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112065
Pages (from-to)112065
JournalExperimental gerontology
Early online date15 Dec 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Diet
  • Systematic review


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