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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jan;65(1):20-9.

Nutritional status and cognitive functioning in a normally aging sample: a 6-y reassessment.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131-5666, USA.

Abstract

Associations between nutritional status and cognitive performance were examined in 137 elderly (aged 66-90 y) community residents. Participants were well-educated, adequately nourished, and free of significant cognitive impairment. Performance on cognitive tests in 1986 was related to both past (1980) and concurrent (1986) nutritional status. Several significant associations (P < 0.05) were observed between cognition and concurrent vitamin status, including better abstraction performance with higher biochemical status and dietary intake of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate (rs = 0.19-0.29) and better visuospatial performance with higher plasma ascorbate (r = 0.22). Concurrent dietary protein in 1986 correlated significantly (rs = 0.25-0.26) with memory scores, and serum albumin or transferrin with memory, visuospatial, or abstraction scores (rs = 0.18-0.22). Higher past intake of vitamins E, A, B-6, and B-12 was related to better performance on visuospatial recall and/or abstraction tests (rs = 0.19-0.28). Use of self-selected vitamin supplements was associated with better performance on a difficult visuospatial test and an abstraction test. Although associations were relatively weak in this well-nourished and cognitively intact sample, the pattern of outcomes suggests some direction for further research on cognition-nutrition associations in aging.

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PMID:
8988908
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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