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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Apr;70(4):471-9. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu135. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Blood glucose, diet-based glycemic load and cognitive aging among dementia-free older adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology. St. Petersburg College. St. Petersburg, Florida.. seetharaman.shyam@spcollege.edu.
2
School of Aging Studies. University of South Florida. Tampa, International Clinical Research Center, Brno, Czech Republic.
3
School of Aging Studies. University of South Florida. Tampa.
4
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden School of Health Sciences. Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
5
Department of Psychology. Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, Indiana.
6
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Department of Psychology. University of Southern California. Los Angeles, California..

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although evidence indicates that Type II Diabetes is related to abnormal brain aging, the influence of elevated blood glucose on long-term cognitive change is unclear. In addition, the relationship between diet-based glycemic load and cognitive aging has not been extensively studied. The focus of this study was to investigate the influence of diet-based glycemic load and blood glucose on cognitive aging in older adults followed for up to 16 years.

METHODS:

Eight-hundred and thirty-eight cognitively healthy adults aged ≥50 years (M = 63.1, SD = 8.3) from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging were studied. Mixed effects growth models were utilized to assess overall performance and change in general cognitive functioning, perceptual speed, memory, verbal ability, and spatial ability as a function of baseline blood glucose and diet-based glycemic load.

RESULTS:

High blood glucose was related to poorer overall performance on perceptual speed as well as greater rates of decline in general cognitive ability, perceptual speed, verbal ability, and spatial ability. Diet-based glycemic load was related to poorer overall performance in perceptual speed and spatial ability.

CONCLUSION:

Diet-based glycemic load and, in particular, elevated blood glucose appear important for cognitive performance/cognitive aging. Blood glucose control (perhaps through low glycemic load diets) may be an important target in the detection and prevention of age-related cognitive decline.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarkers; Cognitive aging; Nutrition.

PMID:
25149688
PMCID:
PMC4447796
DOI:
10.1093/gerona/glu135
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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