There are many risk factors that are amenable to change — cardiovascular function, diet, exercise, inflammation and oxidative stress — that we can target through interventions aiming to preserve cognitive function across the lifespan.

Memory and other cognitive functions decline across the lifespan and the rate of change is different for everyone. Research has shown that much of this change relates to our lifestyles including what we eat and how much we exercise. These and other risk factors have been shown to contribute to cognitive ageing. Poor quality diet and more sedentary lifestyles have been shown to contribute to greater cognitive decline and increased risk of dementia. 

Much of our work has focused on cardiovascular function and specifically how blood pressure, arterial stiffness and vascular elasticity contribute to cognitive function and the risk of cognitive decline. Other risk factors for cognitive decline that are also potentially amenable through dietary and lifestyle interventions are specific nutrient status, oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance. Blood tests that measure these risk factors have been used in our studies to better understand underlying mechanisms that underpin neurocognitive decline and how addressing these risk factors in turn can improve neurocognitive functioning.

1.Kennedy G, Meyer D, Hardman RJ, Macpherson H, Scholey AB, Pipingas A. Modelling Modifiable Predictors of Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Exercise, Aortic Stiffness, and the Importance of Physical Fitness. J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2020;4(1):79-89.
2.Stough C, Pipingas A, Camfield D, Nolidin K, Savage K, Deleuil S, et al. Increases in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein associated with decreased cognitive performance in healthy elderly adults. Metab Brain Dis. 2019;34(2):477-84.
3.Reddan JM, Macpherson H, White DJ, Scholey A, Pipingas A. Examining the relationship between nutrition and cerebral structural integrity in older adults without dementia. Nutr Res Rev. 2019;32(1):79-98.
4.Marx W, George ES, Mayr HL, Thomas CJ, Sarapis K, Moschonis G, et al. Effect of high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil on markers of cardiovascular disease risk in healthy Australian adults (OLIVAUS): A protocol for a double-blind randomised, controlled, cross-over study. Nutr Diet. 2019.
5.Camfield DA, Nolidin K, Savage K, Timmer J, Croft K, Tangestani Fard M, et al. Higher plasma levels of F2-isoprostanes are associated with slower psychomotor speed in healthy older adults. Free Radic Res. 2019;53(4):377-86.
6.Reddan JM, White DJ, Macpherson H, Scholey A, Pipingas A. Glycerophospholipid Supplementation as a Potential Intervention for Supporting Cerebral Structure in Older Adults. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018;10:49.
7.Nkyekyer J, Meyer D, Blamey PJ, Pipingas A, Bhar S. Investigating the Impact of Hearing Aid Use and Auditory Training on Cognition, Depressive Symptoms, and Social Interaction in Adults With Hearing Loss: Protocol for a Crossover Trial. JMIR Res Protoc. 2018;7(3):e85.
8.Kennedy G, Meyer D, Hardman RJ, Macpherson H, Scholey AB, Pipingas A. Physical Fitness and Aortic Stiffness Explain the Reduced Cognitive Performance Associated with Increasing Age in Older People. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;63(4):1307-16.
9.Catchlove SJ, Parrish TB, Chen Y, Macpherson H, Hughes ME, Pipingas A. Regional Cerebrovascular Reactivity and Cognitive Performance in Healthy Aging. J Exp Neurosci. 2018;12:1179069518785151.
10.Catchlove SJ, Macpherson H, Hughes ME, Chen Y, Parrish TB, Pipingas A. An investigation of cerebral oxygen utilization, blood flow and cognition in healthy aging. PLoS One. 2018;13(5):e0197055.
11.Kennedy G, Hardman RJ, Macpherson H, Scholey AB, Pipingas A. How Does Exercise Reduce the Rate of Age-Associated Cognitive Decline? A Review of Potential Mechanisms. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;55(1):1-18.
12.Kure CE, Rosenfeldt FL, Scholey AB, Pipingas A, Kaye DM, Bergin PJ, et al. Relationships Among Cognitive Function and Cerebral Blood Flow, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Older Heart Failure Patients. J Card Fail. 2016;22(7):548-59.
13.Pase MP, Grima N, Cockerell R, Pipingas A. Habitual intake of fruit juice predicts central blood pressure. Appetite. 2015;84:68-72.
14.Harris E, Macpherson H, Pipingas A. Improved blood biomarkers but no cognitive effects from 16 weeks of multivitamin supplementation in healthy older adults. Nutrients. 2015;7(5):3796-812.
15.Pipingas A, Cockerell R, Grima N, Sinclair A, Stough C, Scholey A, et al. Randomized controlled trial examining the effects of fish oil and multivitamin supplementation on the incorporation of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids into red blood cells. Nutrients. 2014;6(5):1956-70.
16.Pase MP, Grima NA, Stough C, Scholey A, Pipingas A. Association of pulsatile and mean cerebral blood flow velocity with age and neuropsychological performance. Physiol Behav. 2014;130:23-7.
17.Bauer I, Crewther S, Pipingas A, Sellick L, Crewther D. Does omega-3 fatty acid supplementation enhance neural efficiency? A review of the literature. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2014;29(1):8-18.
18.Pase MP, Stough C, Grima NA, Harris E, Macpherson H, Scholey AB, et al. Blood pressure and cognitive function: the role of central aortic and brachial pressures. Psychol Sci. 2013;24(11):2173-81.
19.Pase MP, Herbert A, Grima NA, Pipingas A, O'Rourke MF. Arterial stiffness as a cause of cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Intern Med J. 2012;42(7):808-15.
20.Pase MP, Grima NA, Stough CK, Scholey A, Pipingas A. Cardiovascular disease risk and cerebral blood flow velocity. Stroke. 2012;43(10):2803-5.

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