With increasing life expectancies in most Western populations, the number of people experiencing age-associated cognitive impairment is increasing. Research is needed to identify factors that may help the elderly maintain or even improve cognitive function in the face of advancing age. This review evaluates whether dietary supplementation with natural pharmaceuticals can be used as a means to improve cognitive function or limit cognitive decline. The evidence surrounding popular supplements such as Ginkgo biloba, fish oils, Bacopa monnieri, polyphenol extracts, and vitamins is reviewed briefly. Potential mechanisms of action are also highlighted. This review also discusses challenges surrounding cognitive testing in psychopharmacological research, highlighting discrepancies between the domains of human cognition as described by contemporary models and as measured in clinical trials.
- cognitive decline
- cognitive enhancement