Western Diet and Cognitive Impairment: Links to Potential Mechanisms: A Review

Document Type : Review Article


Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey



Animal studies in recent years have shown that a Western diet style (WD-style) which is high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates causes obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, results demonstrated that it can damage the structures that make up the nervous system. Accordingly, there is an evidence that systemic changes associated with the Western diet lead to blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, microglia activation, and the development of neuroinflammation. These changes are then followed by synaptic transmission dysfunction, neurodegeneration, and finally memory and cognitive deterioration. This review summarizes research on the mechanisms that show Western diet consumption is associated with cognitive impairment, with emphasis on learning and memory functions that depend on the integrity of the hippocampus.


Betul Aslan (Google Scholar)


Main Subjects