Joint Action: Nutrition and Cognitive Function (NutriCog)

Joint Action in pillar 3 (diet-related chronic diseases)

The main objective of the NutriCog Call is to support innovative, transnational research projects addressing important questions relating to the interplay between nutrition and cognitive function. This knowledge will lay the basis for dietary preventive strategies and recommendations to guide individuals and populations towards health promoting dietary habits. Five research consortia focussing on a broad range of different research questions, such as the interactions between diet, cognition and stress, the relation between dietary bioactives and cognitive ageing, or the influence of specific nutritional components on brain plasticity and development were recommended for funding. Projects started in the first half of 2016, with an overall budget of 5.0 M€.

A Menu for Brain Responses Opposing Stress-Induced Alterations in Cognition (AMBROSIAC)

WHAT: The AMBROSIAC consortium aims at investigating the interrelations between diet, stress and cognition across the lifespan, using both preclinical and clinical approaches.

WHO: 6 partners from 6 countries are involved (IE, FR, DE, IT, NL, UK). The project is coordinated by John Cryan (IE).

HOW: Partners will examine the influence of nutrition on an increased susceptibility for stress-induced cognitive deficits from adulthood to old age, the impact of nutritional interventions on both cognition and stress-related parameters and molecular mechanisms by which nutrition can improve stress-induced cognitive vulnerabilities. In addition, gut microbiota will be investigated as a potential signaling mediator.

individualized Cognitive, Affective and Social Enhancement in nutritional interventions for longevity and well-being (iCASE)

WHAT: Partners will investigate the role of food supplements affecting serotonin levels and examine effects on cognitive ageing processes, with social and affective cognition in particular.

WHO: iCASE is a consortium of 4 partners from 3 countries (DE, ES, NL). The project coordinator is Peter Kirsch (DE).

HOW: Using a multidisciplinary and translational approach, the work will include clinical approaches, brain imaging techniques, genetic, epigenetic and neurochemical analyses to elucidate mechanisms underlying the interactions between brain, nutritional intervention and social behavior, to explain interindividual differences in response to dietary interventions, and to investigate epigenetic alterations.

Identification of dietary modulators of cognitive ageing and brain plasticity and proof of concept of efficacy for preventing/reversing cognitive decline (D-CogPlast)

WHAT: The consortium will examine the role of dietary bioactives affecting brain plasticity for cognitive ageing processes. Furthermore, different age groups will be under study to investigate a sensitive population responsive to dietary interventions. Exposure to stress and genetic predispositions will be considered in addition.

WHO: D-CogPlast consists of 6 partners from 5 countries (UK, AU, FR, NL ES). The project is coordinated by Sandrine Thuret (UK).

HOW: D-CogPlast is a translational project across nutrition, epidemiology, and neurosciences, ranging from studies in rodent models to human data. Innovative methods will be employed, such as food metabolomics, in-vitro approaches to study brain plasticity in humans and cognitive ageing models in rodents.

Targeting the mitochondria-tyr kinase axis to prevent age-associated neuronal decline (MiTyrAge)
WHAT: The consortium will investigate the role of dietary components for mitochondrial function and cognitive decline with age.

WHO: MiTyrAge consists of 4 partners from 3 countries (DE, IT, ES). The project coordinator is Natascia Ventura (DE).

HOW: A complementary set up of basic research approaches using a variety of model systems, such as in-vitro mechanistic studies in cells and in-vivo studies in worm and rodent models, combined with epidemiological research in humans to deliver biological outputs that may suggest novel molecular mechanisms and preventive strategies for future clinical research.

Selenium in early life to enhance neurodevelopment in unfavourable settings (SELENIUS)

WHAT: SELENIUS will investigate the role of selenium for brain plasticity in relation to other trace elements and nutrients. Oxidative stress and inflammation will be studied as key processes connecting diet, peripheral tissues and brain development.

WHO: SELENIUS consists of 6 research groups from 5 countries (IT, FR, DE, PL, UK). The project is coordinated by Luisa Minghetti (IT).

HOW: The effects of different diets on behavioral development, cognitive functions, synaptic plasticity, and inflammation will be studied, using a variety of methods, such as ex-vivo and in-vivo designs, -omics approaches, assessments of inflammatory parameters in different target organs and epidemiological data from a human birth cohort study.


Contact details of coordinators

Contact details of JPI HDHL JOINT action secretariat
Dr. Felicitas Bosen / Dr. Kristina Foterek:


Green - MiTyrAge
Blu - iCASE
Lightblu - D-CogPlast