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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;21(6):519-28.

The Nutrition, Aging, and Memory in Elders (NAME) study: design and methods for a study of micronutrients and cognitive function in a homebound elderly population.

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Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA.



Micronutrient status can affect cognitive function in the elderly; however, there is much to learn about the precise effects. Understanding mediating factors by which micronutrient status affects cognitive function would contribute to elders' quality of life and their ability to remain in the home.


The Nutrition, Aging, and Memory in Elders (NAME) Study is designed to advance the current level of knowledge by investigating potential mediating factors by which micronutrient status contributes to cognitive impairment and central nervous system abnormalities in the elderly. NAME targets homebound elders because they are understudied and particularly at risk for poor nutritional status.


Subjects are community-based elders aged 60 and older, recruited through area Aging Services Access Points. The NAME core data include demographics; neuropsychological testing and activities of daily living measures; food frequency, health and behavioral questionnaires; anthropometrics; gene status; plasma micronutrients, homocysteine, and other blood determinants. A neurological examination, psychiatric examination, and brain MRI and volumetric measurements are obtained from a sub-sample.


Preliminary data from first 300 subjects are reported. These data show that the NAME protocol is feasible and that the enrolled subjects are racially diverse, at-risk, and had similar basic demographics to the population from which they were drawn.


The goal of the NAME study is to evaluate novel relationships between nutritional factors and cognitive impairment. These data may provide important information on potential new therapeutic strategies and supplementation standards for the elderly to maintain cognitive function and potentially reduce the public health costs of dementia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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