Mind diet adherence and cognitive performance in the framingham heart study

Debora Melo van Lent, Adrienne O'Donnell, Alexa S. Beiser, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Charles S. DeCarli, Nikolaos Scarmeas, Michael Wagner, Paul F. Jacques, Sudha Seshadri, Jayandra J. Himali, Matthew P. Pase

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Background: Adherence to the Mediterranean-DASH for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet has previously been associated with cognitive decline and dementia. To our knowledge, no prior study has investigated the association between the MIND diet and measures of brain volume, silent brain infarcts (SBIs), or brain atrophy. Objective: We evaluated whether adherence to the MIND diet associated with superior cognitive function, larger brain volumes, fewer SBIs, and less cognitive decline in the community-based Framingham Heart Study. Methods: 2,092 participants (mean±SD, age 61±9) completed Food Frequency Questionnaires, averaged across a maximum of 3-time points (examination cycles 5, 6, and 7), cognitive testing at examination cycle 7 (present study baseline: 1998-2001) and after a mean±SD of 6.6±1.1 years from baseline (n = 1,584). A subset of participants also completed brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at examination cycle 7 (n = 1,904). In addition, participants with dementia, stroke, and other relevant neurological diseases such as significant head trauma, subdural hematoma, or multiple sclerosis were excluded from the analyses. Results: Higher MIND diet scores were associated with better global cognitive function (±SE,+0.03SD±0.01; p = 0.004), verbal memory, visual memory, processing speed, verbal comprehension/reasoning, and with larger total brain volume (TBV) following adjustments for clinical, lifestyle and demographic covariates, but not with other brain MRI measures (i.e., hippocampal volume, lateral ventricular volume, white matter hyperintensity volume, and SBIs) or cognitive decline. Conclusion: Higher MIND diet scores associated with better cognitive performance and larger TBV at baseline, but not with cognitive decline. Clinical trials are needed to ascertain whether adopting the MIND diet affects trajectories of cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Intervention and Alzheimer's Disease
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781643685014
ISBN (Print)9781643685007
StatePublished - Feb 22 2024


  • Apolipoprotein e4
  • Brain volume
  • Cognition
  • Dietary pattern
  • Framingham heart study
  • MIND diet
  • Silent brain infarcts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Mind diet adherence and cognitive performance in the framingham heart study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this