Abstract

Objective: Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of disorders that includes obesity, visceral adiposity, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. MetS is associated with cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and dementia. This systematic review sought to understand the effects of MetS on cognition in relation to gender. Data Selection: Studies were found using PubMed database. Keywords searched included metabolic syndrome, cognition, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, neuropsychological, gender, male, and female. Studies included investigated the effects of MetS on cognition with male and female adults (age≥ 18) as well as animal models. Exclusion criteria included a history of TBI/brain lesion, morbid obesity (i.e., BMI ≥ 40), children/adolescents, severe depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, axis II disorder, ADHD, intellectual disability, HIV, cardiac/vascular conditions, kidney failure, and obstructive sleep apnea. A total of 18 out of 466 articles met these criteria. Data Synthesis: Findings showed differential as well as contradictory findings across gender. However, there was a trend for MetS to be associated with cognitive stability in men 75 years old or older and women 80 years old or older. Furthermore, in adults younger than 75 years, MetS was associated with executive dysfunction and memory deficits for both genders. Conclusion(s): The differential effects of MetS on cognition were dependent upon age but not gender. However, there are disparate findings across the literature. Consequently, more research is needed to determine the cognitive effects of MetS in relation to gender.