MELBOURNE, Australia — Cognitive performance may be improved when patients combine a Mediterranean diet and exercise.

Scientists at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, are studying 148 healthy people between 60 and 90 years of age who are living in independent accommodations within Australian aged-care facilities. They are investigating cognitive changes that occurred as a result of aerobic exercise and/or a Mediterranean diet over six months.

Their study is published in the May edition of Nutrition Journal.

Their hypothesis is that exercise and the Mediterranean diet, when utilized both individually and in combination, results in improved cognitive performance. Positive findings will have implications for management of aged care, particularly in respect to reducing the rate of cognitive decline.

Because the world is facing a rapidly aging population, and with it the health concerns that come with age, researchers are looking at ways to combat declining health, especially when it comes to cognitive problems. Because of previous studies linking the Mediterranean diet to improved health, and exercise to improved health, these researchers are using a controlled trial to test the theory that linking the two will be beneficial to an aging population.

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