The decline in cognitive function is generally the result of the complex interaction of several factors.
First of all, age, but also demographic, educational, genetic, socio-economic, and environmental determinants,
including nutrition. Cognitive decline and dementia prevalence are increasing, and they are projected to continue
increasing in the next decades due to the aging of the world population. Currently, there are no effective pharmacological
treatments for these devastating and disabling conditions, which emphasize the key role of preventive
strategies. There is compelling evidence of the role of diet and lifestyle on cognitive function. Therefore, dietary/
nutritional approaches that contribute to prevent, or slow cognitive decline may have a remarkable public
health impact. Numerous studies have explored the role of dietary components and patterns on age-associated
cognitive decline, with accruing evidence that combinations of foods and nutrients can have synergistic effects
beyond those attributable to individual foods or nutrients. Dietary patterns show the strongest evidence for slowing
the development of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias including the Mediterranean
diet, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, and their combination (the MedDiet-DASH Intervention
for Neurodegenerative Delay - MIND), among others with few positive results. There are also dietary patterns
with no evidence of such effects. This review examines the evidence for the effects of some dietary patterns as
neuroprotective with a potential to delay cognitive decline and the onset of dementia.