Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting
elderly individuals at an alarming rate. It has become a global health crisis imposing tremendous social
and economic burden on society. Although there is no cure for AD, it is important to identify and implement
preventive strategies that may delay or prevent the symptoms, limit the burden, and improve the
quality of life of those afflicted. Adequate nutrition and physical activity are the two potential lifestyle
modifiable factors that have gained considerable interest for their potential in the prevention or management
of this challenging disease. In this review, we discuss the beneficial effects of physical activity and
adequate nutrition on minimizing the risk of developing AD.
Methods: The research question was initially formulated in a structured and explicit way. Relevant studies
were identified using a wide range of scientific databases. Their potential relevance was based on the
criteria for inclusion and exclusion. The quality of selected studies was subjected to a more precise quality
assessment using standard tools. A detailed description of the implemented intervention and how it
differed from what the control group received was outlined. The effects of intervention on measurable
outcomes for the study sample were applied.
Results: One hundred and sixty-four references were included in the review comprising of epidemiological,
longitudinal, cross-sectional, intervention and randomized controlled studies. This review highlighted
the effect of various nutrient diet supplements on cognitive performance in humans as well as animals
with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Moreover, the effect of physical exercise on the cognitive
function in animal models with AD was outlined.
Conclusion: The findings of this review highlight the therapeutic potential of combination of nutritionally
adequate diet and physical activity in preventing or delaying the symptoms associated with AD pathology.