Deakin University

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A randomised controlled trial investigating the effects of Mediterranean diet and aerobic exercise on cognition in cognitively healthy older people living independently within aged care facilities: the Lifestyle Intervention in Independent Living Aged Care (LIILAC) study protocol [ACTRN12614001133628].

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-26, 04:06 authored by R J Hardman, G Kennedy, Helen MacphersonHelen Macpherson, A B Scholey, A Pipingas
BACKGROUND: The rapid ageing of the population is becoming an area of great concern, both globally and in Australia. On a societal level, the cost of supporting an ageing demographic, particularly with their associated medical requirements, is becoming an ever increasing burden that is only predicted to rise in the foreseeable future. The progressive decline in individuals' cognitive ability as they age, particularly with respect to the ever increasing incidence of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and other cognitive complications, is in many respects one of the foundation stones of these concerns. There have been numerous observational studies reporting on the positive effects that aerobic exercise and the Mediterranean diet appear to have on improving cognitive ability. However, the ability of such interventions to improve cognitive ability, or even reduce the rate of cognitive ageing, has not been fully examined by substantial interventional studies within an ageing population. METHODS: The LIILAC trial will investigate the potential for cognitive change in a cohort of cognitively healthy individuals, between the ages of 60 and 90 years, living in independent accommodation within Australian aged care facilities. This four-arm trial will investigate the cognitive changes which may occur as a result of the introduction of aerobic exercise and/or Mediterranean diet into individuals' lifestyles, as well as the mechanisms by which these changes may be occurring. Participants will be tested at baseline and 6 months on a battery of computer based cognitive assessments, together with cardiovascular and blood biomarker assessments. The cardiovascular measures will assess changes in arterial stiffness and central pulse pressures, while the blood measures will examine changes in metabolic profiles, including brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), inflammatory factors and insulin sensitivity. CONCLUSION: It is hypothesised that exercise and Mediterranean diet interventions, both individually and in combination, will result in improvements in cognitive performance compared with controls. Positive findings in this research will have potential implications for the management of aged care, particularly in respect to reducing the rate of cognitive decline and the associated impacts both on the individual and the broader community. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry- ACTRN12614001133628.



Nutrition journal






London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2015, BioMed Central