27 April 2022
Cognitive functions are essential for the performance of daily life activities, particularly for older adults who present a higher prevalence of cognitive disorders. Problems related to these specific brains skills can range from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Dementia reduces quality of life (QoL) and is related to serious economic consequences. Recently, Elsayed et al.  reported the results of a parallel randomized clinical trial involving sixty-eight postmenopausal women (60 to 75 years/body mass index [BMI]: 30 to 39.9 kg/m2), in order to investigate the combined impact of aerobic exercise and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet on brain cell longevity. Participants were assigned to one of two groups (the experimental and the control). The experimental group followed moderate-intensity treadmill exercise three times/week for twelve weeks plus MIND diet and the control group followed the MIND diet alone. Serum sex hormones were measured (estradiol, total testosterone [TT], free testosterone [FT], sex hormone binding globulin [SHBG]) at baseline and at 12 weeks; in addition to the assessment of cognitive function and functional activity level determined with validated scales (i.e the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale [RUDAS] and the Functional Independence Measures Scale [FIM], respectively). After intervention, the experimental group displayed significant changes in sex hormones, cognitive functions, and functional levels compared with the control group. In addition, no correlation was found between the measured variables in both groups after intervention. Authors conclude that aerobic exercise in combination with the proposed MIND diet improves cognitive and functional levels and sex hormones in postmenopausal women.