4 Groundbreaking Studies for a Youthful Brain

In recent years, there has been a surge in research aimed at understanding how we can keep our brains young as we age.  These studies focus on identifying risk factors that we have the power to modify, with lifestyle and nutrition emerging as key themes.  Join us as we dive into four recent groundbreaking studies that shed light on effective strategies for maintaining youthful brain function. 

Groundbreaking Studies for a Youthful Brain: 

Sleep Duration and Quality (2020):  Previously, we've emphasized the critical role of sleep duration and quality in maintaining optimal brain health.  During sleep, the brain performs vital functions such as clearing waste and consolidating memories.  Recent studies have underscored the importance of adequate sleep for reducing the risk of dementia and promoting overall well-being.  Research indicates that sleeping fewer than 5 hours per night doubles the risk of developing dementia compared to getting 7-8 hours of sleep.  Additionally, taking 30 minutes or longer to fall asleep is associated with a 45% greater risk of dementia.1  This indicates that we can improve our sleep in at least two ways:  the first being the overall number of sleeping hours, and the second being to focus on the routine that helps us fall asleep.

Top Modifiable Risk Factors (2022):  Modifiable risk factors play a crucial role in our brain health as they are within our control and can be adjusted to mitigate potential risks.  A comprehensive analysis conducted in 2011 identified physical inactivity, depression, and smoking as the top modifiable risk factors for dementia prevention in the United States.  However, recent evaluations have shown a shift in these factors.  Midlife obesity, physical inactivity, and low education are now identified as the primary modifiable risk factors and may help in keeping the brain young if addressed appropriately.2  Given these factors, one can see the importance of including nutrition, movement, learning, and relationships in a brain health action plan.

HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) During Midlife (2023): During the midlife phase, women experience significant changes in brain health, prompting ongoing research and discussions in the medical community.  Recent studies have shed light on the potential impact of hormone therapy on dementia risk during this period.  This is especially important for women who carry the APOE4 gene and are not managing other risk factors properly.  Interestingly, findings suggest that women who initiate HRT during perimenopause and continue for more than 10 years may experience a 26% reduced risk of dementia.  However, the timing of HRT initiation is critical.  If HRT is commenced after 65 or over a decade after menopause onset, the risk of dementia may increase.  This concept, termed the "window of opportunity," underscores the importance of timely intervention and personalized healthcare approaches.  Dr. Lisa Mosconi, the lead study author, coined this term to emphasize the significance of hormone therapy timing in mitigating dementia risk among women.3  To learn more about Dr. Lisa Mosconi’s work, explore her latest book release by visiting here.  

MIND and Mediterranean Diet in Midlife Memory (2023):  Nutrition has emerged as a potent ally in preserving cognitive vitality, particularly during the midlife transition.  Recent research, including studies on twins, has underscored the significant impact of dietary patterns like the MIND or Mediterranean diet on cognitive function over time, especially among cognitively healthy female twins.  What's intriguing is the role of gut microbiota in this equation.  Exploring the intricate link between diet and cognitive performance, researchers found that adherence to the MIND diet correlated with higher abundance of a specific gut bacteria called Ruminococcaceae UCG-010.  This group of gut bacteria plays a crucial role in fermenting dietary fiber to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).  These SCFAs, in turn, exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, regulate neurotropic factors, and may even mitigate amyloid burden in the brain.4 

By understanding the impact of modifiable risk factors on brain health, we uncover powerful strategies for preserving cognitive vitality.  Factors like sleep quality, obesity, physical inactivity, and educational attainment all play crucial roles in shaping brain health throughout life.  Additionally, exploring targeted interventions specific to midlife transitions, such as hormone replacement therapy, offers further insight into maintaining cognitive resilience.  However, one of the most promising avenues lies in addressing our nutritional needs for optimal brain function.  The MIND diet, with its focus on brain-boosting foods, shows immense potential in promoting cognitive longevity.   

This month, we're excited to offer a comprehensive toolkit designed to support your journey toward adopting the MIND diet into your daily routine.  Our March Special Offer is designed to support your journey in keeping your brain young and vibrant.  With 3 jars of RELEVATE and the book "The Official MIND Diet: A Scientifically Based Program to Lose Weight and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease," you'll have the best tools to nourish your brain and promote cognitive longevity.  Additionally, you'll receive extra resources including a 3-month meal and grocery planning pad, offering guidance on incorporating brain-boosting foods into your daily routine.  To further assist with meal planning, we've included a 6-day MIND meal planning inspiration sheet to inspire nutritious meal choices.  Plus, a colorful MIND diet food groups magnet will serve as a constant reminder of your goals, keeping you on track with your brain-healthy eating plan. 

We understand that making dietary changes can be challenging, which is why RELEVATE is here to support you on your journey.  While it's not a replacement for a healthy diet, it provides a nutritional boost for those times when life gets busy or you miss a brain-healthy meal.  Paired with "The Official MIND Diet" book, you'll have expert guidance on adopting a brain-healthy eating pattern to support overall brain health.  Learn more and order by visiting here.   


  1. Robbins, R., Quan, S. F., Weaver, M. D., Bormes, G., Barger, L. K., & Czeisler, C. A. (2021). Examining sleep deficiency and disturbance and their risk for incident dementia and all-cause mortality in older adults across 5 years in the United States. Aging, 13(3), 3254–3268. https://doi.org/10.18632/AGING.202591 
  2. Nianogo, R. A., Rosenwohl-Mack, A., Yaffe, K., Carrasco, A., Hoffmann, C. M., & Barnes, D. E. (2022). Risk Factors Associated With Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias by Sex and Race and Ethnicity in the US. JAMA Neurology, 79(6), 584–591. https://doi.org/10.1001/JAMANEUROL.2022.0976 
  3. Nerattini, M., Jett, S., Andy, C., Carlton, C., Zarate, C., Boneu, C., Battista, M., Pahlajani, S., Loeb-Zeitlin, S., Havryulik, Y., Williams, S., Christos, P., Fink, M., Brinton, R. D., & Mosconi, L. (2023). Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of menopause hormone therapy on risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 15, 1260427. https://doi.org/10.3389/FNAGI.2023.1260427/BIBTEX 
  4. McEvoy, C. T., Jennings, A., Steves, C. J., Macgregor, A., Spector, T., & Cassidy, A. (2024). Diet patterns and cognitive performance in a UK Female Twin Registry (TwinsUK). Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, 16(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/S13195-024-01387-X/TABLES/3 
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