The impact of exercise, sleep, and diet on neurocognitive recovery from mild traumatic brain injury in older adults: A narrative review

Shaun J. Markovic, Melinda Fitzgerald, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Brendan R. Scott, Stephanie R. Rainey-Smith, Hamid R. Sohrabi, Belinda M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) accounts for a large majority of traumatic brain injuries sustained globally each year. Older adults, who are already susceptible to age-related declines to neurocognitive health, appear to be at an increased risk of both sustaining an mTBI and experiencing slower or impaired recovery. There is also growing evidence that mTBI is a potential risk factor for accelerated cognitive decline and neurodegeneration. Lifestyle-based interventions are gaining prominence as a cost-effective means of maintaining cognition and brain health with age. Consequently, inter-individual variations in exercise, sleep, and dietary patterns could influence the trajectory of post-mTBI neurocognitive recovery, particularly in older adults. This review synthesises the current animal and human literature centred on the mechanisms through which lifestyle-related habits and behaviours could influence acute and longer-term neurocognitive functioning following mTBI. Numerous neuroprotective processes which are impacted by lifestyle factors have been established in animal models of TBI. However, the literature is characterised by a lack of translation to human samples and limited appraisal of the interaction between ageing and brain injury. Further research is needed to better establish the therapeutic utility of applying lifestyle-based modifications to improve post-mTBI neurocognitive outcomes in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101322
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Volume68
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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