The world population is becoming older and older, which is nice because we will be able to keep our parents and grandparents around for a longer time. However, the increase in life expectancy does not necessarily mean that older people today experience their late years in good health. When we become older, the functioning of our brain tends to decline: it is harder to focus, we become more forgetful, and it is harder to learn new information. Eventually, this may lead to dementia. Luckily, there are ways we can influence brain ageing.
Therefore, during my PhD, I will investigate the impact of nutrition on healthy brain ageing. What should we eat to prevent our brain from declining. The Mediterranean diet? Are (combinations of) nutritional supplements effective? Or should we eat specific foods, such as berries? Furthermore, we will investigate the role of new mechanistic pathways: the gut microbiome and epigenetics. We know that nutrition affects the bacteria in our gut, and that nutrition plays a role in switching genes on and off, but how does this relate to the functioning of our brain?
Eventually, we hope to gain more insight in the role of nutrition in cognitive ageing, so that we can advise our parents and grandparents what they should eat to eat to keep their brain healthy and enjoy life at old age in good health.