Special Issue "Nutrients and Brain across the Lifespan"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Paolo Brambilla
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Interests: neuroimaging; affective disorders; psychosis; clinical psychiatry; psychopathology
Prof. Dr. Carlo Agostoni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health (DISCCO), University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Interests: nutrition; metabolism; lipid metabolism; metabolic diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The focus of this Special Issue is “Nutrients and Brain across the Lifespan”. Diet exerts a crucial role in shaping cognitive capacity and brain evolution. Indeed, the human brain consumes an immense amount of energy relative to the rest of the body. Thus, the mechanisms that are involved in the transfer of energy from foods to neurons are likely to be fundamental in the control of brain function and can affect synaptic plasticity, which could explain how metabolic disorders influence mental functions. Another important factor affecting brain functions is microbiota, which has an important role in bidirectional interactions between the gut and the central nervous system by regulating brain chemistry and influencing neuro-endocrine systems associated with stress response, anxiety, and memory function. Thus, it has been increasingly indicated that diet is important in the pathogenesis, course, and effectiveness of wellbeing and treatment of several mental disorders. The all-encompassing aim of this SI is to identify the effects of both internal signals that are associated with feeding and micronutrients on cell metabolism, synaptic plasticity, and mental function and to publish state-of-the art contributions discussing the roles that nutritional compounds play in the development, maintenance, and aging of the brain. We encourage the submission of original research articles, reviews, and meta-analyses.

Prof. Dr. Paolo Brambilla
Prof. Dr. Carlo Agostoni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Central nervous system
  • Neurogenesis
  • Brain development
  • Brain aging
  • Microbiome and brain
  • Mood disorder and nutrition
  • Dietary micronutrients and mental disorders
  • Breastfeeding and neurodevelopment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Consumption, Drinking Patterns, and Cognitive Performance in Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analysis
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010200 - 13 Jan 2020
Long-term alcohol abuse is associated with poorer cognitive performance. However, the associations between light and moderate drinking and cognitive performance are less clear. We assessed this association via cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in a sample of 702 Dutch students. At baseline, alcohol consumption [...] Read more.
Long-term alcohol abuse is associated with poorer cognitive performance. However, the associations between light and moderate drinking and cognitive performance are less clear. We assessed this association via cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in a sample of 702 Dutch students. At baseline, alcohol consumption was assessed using questionnaires and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) across four weeks (‘Wave 1’). Subsequently, cognitive performance, including memory, planning, and reasoning, was assessed at home using six standard cognition tests presented through an online platform. A year later, 436 students completed the four weeks of EMA and online cognitive testing (‘Wave 2’). In both waves, there was no association between alcohol consumption and cognitive performance. Further, alcohol consumption during Wave 1 was not related to cognitive performance at Wave 2. In addition, EMA-data-based drinking patterns, which varied widely between persons but were relatively consistent over time within persons, were also not associated with cognitive performance. Post-hoc analyses of cognitive performance revealed higher within-person variance scores (from Wave 1 to Wave 2) than between-person variance scores (both Wave 1 and Wave 2). In conclusion, no association was observed between alcohol consumption and cognitive performance in a large Dutch student sample. However, the online cognitive tests performed at home may not have been sensitive enough to pick up differences in cognitive performance associated with alcohol consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Brain across the Lifespan)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Name: Matteo Cesari
Affiliation: Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Topic: Brain aging, frailty, nutrition

Name: Maria Nobile
Affiliation: Child Psychopathology Unit, Scientific Institute, IRCCS E. Medea, via Don Luigi Monza 20, Bosisio Parini (LC), Lecco 23842, Italy
Topic: n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and ADHD; fNIRs and fatty acid

Name: Frank H. Bloomfield
Affiliation: Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Topic: the role of nutritional intakes in cellular metabolism and biochemistry and how that may relate to outcome

Name: Peter Willatts
Affiliation: Division of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Topic: The effects of DHA in maternal and infant diet on children’s cognitive development

Name: Alessandra Mazzocchi
Affiliation: Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Topic: Mediterranean diet; cognition

Name: Valentina Ciappolino
Affiliation: Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, 20122 Milan, Italy
Topic: n-3 PUFAs and affective disorders

Name: Andrea Botturi
Affiliation: Neurologic Clinic, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto neurologico Carlo Besta, 20122 Milan, Italy
Topic: magnesium and mental disorders


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