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Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline refers to a naturally occurring reduction in cognition and memory formation associated with aging, and may be benign or associated with some disease states (such as Alzheimer's). Some supplements that are not inhernetly nootropic may reduce cognitive decline.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect cognitive decline
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Notable High See all 11 studies
For usage of EGb-761 at 240-360mg daily as a therapeutic option in people who already are experiencing cognitive decline, then it appears to be reliably effective and comparable to 10mg Donepezil.
grade-a Notable Very High See all 6 studies
There appears to be a notable reduction in the rate of cognitive decline (or rehabiliation of aged cognition) associated with high dose Piracetam over time and in a general manner. Piracetam is sometimes used as a comparator for cognitive decline.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 5 studies
Appears to reliably reduce the cognitive decline and related symptoms seen in dementia and other organic brain deterioration states, with particular efficacy towards verbal skill in doses above 1,200mg
grade-b Minor High See all 5 studies
There appears to be a protective effect against cognitive decline with PS supplementation above 300mg when using the bovine cortex form; usage of the soy based PS is not yet confirmed to have these effects, although it is possible
grade-c Notable - See study
The rate of cognitive decline of either degenerative or vascular origin appears to be significantly reduced with Alpha-GPC supplementation
grade-c Minor - See study
Supplementation of blueberry extract does appear effective in elderly persons with general cognitive decline, able to improve cognition and memory.
grade-c Minor - See study
The rate of memory decline seen in older persons during the aging process appears to be attenuated with supplementation of CDP-Choline
grade-c Minor - See study
Rate of cognitive decline may be lesser with dietary inclusion of curcumin, but requires more evidence
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
May attenuate the rate of cognitive decline in persons at higher risk, but this protective effect does not seem to be overly remarkable
grade-c Minor - See study
A positive influence on the cognitive state of elderly persons (reduction of cognitive decline) has once been noted
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
High dose (900 mg) DHA appears to be somewhat beneficial in reducing the rate of cognitive decline in elderly but otherwise healthy persons, but 350 mg DHA and 600 mg EPA has been seen to have no effect in those with concurrent age-related macular degeneration.
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
A possible reduction in cognitive decline as assessed by CEMAD scores, although MMSE scores did not experience a significant benefit with supplementation at this moment in time.
grade-c Minor - See study
360mg anapsos daily appears to be somewhat benefit for persons with senile dementia.
grade-c Minor - See study
The rate of cognitive decline seen with oral supplementation of yamabushitake appears to be significantly reduced in older persons, although there are no direct comparisons to reference drugs at this time to assess potency.
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
Short-term supplementation failed to restore cognitive decline in older persons, no evidence as to whether nitrate exerts a preventative effect.
grade-c - - See study
When supplemented by otherwise healthy elderly persons, the development of organic cognitive decline does not appear to be attenuated relative to placebo.
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in symptoms associated with cognitive decline has been noted
grade-d Minor - See study
The rate of cognitive decline appears to be significantly reduced following usage of phenylpiracetam
grade-d Minor Very High See 2 studies
The rate of cognitive decline appears to be attenuated with vinpocetine administration, this may be related to blood flow