Strategies for dementia prevention: latest evidence and implications

Gopalkumar Rakesh, Steven T. Szabo, George S. Alexopoulos, Anthony S. Zannas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Dementia is a common and debilitating syndrome with enormous impact on individuals and societies. Preventing disease onset or progression would translate to public health and societal benefits. In this review, we discuss the latest evidence on interventions that may show promise for the prevention of cognitive decline. We appraise existing evidence primarily drawn from randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses, but also highlight observational studies in humans and relevant work in model organisms. Overall, there is currently limited evidence to support a cause–effect relationship between any preventive strategy and the development or progression of dementia. However, studies to date suggest that a multifactorial intervention comprising regular exercise and healthy diet, along with the amelioration of vascular risk factors, psychosocial stress, and major depressive episodes may be most promising for the prevention of cognitive decline. We discuss the challenges, future directions, and implications of this line of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-136
Number of pages16
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s), 2017.


  • antidepressants
  • cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • exercise
  • immunomodulators
  • major depression
  • meditation
  • mediterranean diet
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • psychosocial stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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