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NUTRITIONAL RISK STATUS, DIETARY INTAKE AND COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN OLDER ADULTS WITH MOTORIC COGNITIVE RISK SYNDROME

S.A. White, N. Ward, J. Verghese, A.F. Kramer, K. Grandjean da Costa, C.K. Liu, C. Kowaleski, K.F. Reid

J Aging Res & Lifestyle 2020;9:47-54

Background: Modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet are associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Greater understanding of the nutritional intake of older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline may allow for the development of more effective dietary interventions to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterize the nutritional status, diet quality and individual nutritional components of older adults with motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR). MCR is a pre-dementia syndrome classified by slow gait speed and subjective memory impairments. Design: Cross-sectional analysis. Setting: A community-based senior center located in an urban setting. Participants: Twenty-five community-dwelling older adults with MCR aged 60-89 yrs. Measurements: Nutritional risk status was determined using the Nestle Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). A food frequency questionnaire was used to quantify: overall dietary quality using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI); adherence to the Mediterranean-DASH for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) dietary pattern; and intake of individual nutritional components shown to be protective or harmful for cognitive function in older adults. Participants completed a computerized cognitive testing battery to assess cognitive abilities. Results: More than one third (36%) of participants were at increased risk for malnutrition. Participants at lower risk for malnutrition had better working memory (r = 0.40, p = 0.04), executive functioning (r = 0.44, p = 0.03), and overall cognition (r = 0.44, p = 0.03). While participants generally consumed a reasonable quality diet (HEI = 65.15), 48% of participants had poor adherence to a neuroprotective MIND dietary pattern. Higher intake of B-complex vitamins was associated with better task switching (r = 0.40, p ≤ 0.05) and faster processing speeds (r = 0.39, p ≤ 0.05). Higher vitamin C intake was associated with better executive functioning (r = 0.40, p ≤ 0.05). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a significant proportion of older adults with MCR may be at increased risk for malnutrition. While the diet quality of older adults with MCR appeared to need improvement, future studies should investigate the effects of more specific nutritional interventions, including the MIND diet, on cognition in at-risk older adults.

CITATION:
S.A. White ; N. Ward ; J. Verghese ; A.F. Kramer ; K. Grandjean da Costa ; C.K. Liu ; C. Kowaleski ; K.F. Reid (2020): Nutritional Risk Status, Dietary Intake and Cognitive Performance in Older Adults with Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome. The Journal of Aging and Lifestyle (JARLife). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jarlife.2020.10

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