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The Assessment and Treatment of Cognitive Function With the Use of Food Supplements in a Healthy Elderly Population.

Dawe, Rachael Anne. (1999) The Assessment and Treatment of Cognitive Function With the Use of Food Supplements in a Healthy Elderly Population. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

In recent years it has become apparent that the proportion of elderly people in the Western World is rising. There are a number of variables that can adversely affect cognitive function such as illness, drug treatment and nutritional status. Based on this idea, it was hypothesised that improved nutritional status would result in improved cognitive function. In order to assess this hypothesis, it was important tests to assess cognitive function. The first method for assessing cognitive function was with the use of a subjective rating scale to assess activities of daily living (ADL). It was reported that elderly subjects were unaware of any problems with cognitive function. The second method for the assessment of cognitive function was with the use of objective tests. A test battery was identified and examined for the effects of age and sex on performance. It was reported that a number of the tests were age sensitive. Having identified a test methodology, the effects of improved nutritional status were investigated. 239 healthy community dwelling elderly volunteers received multivitamins daily for 36 weeks. It was reported that supplementation with multivitamins had no effect on performance of the tasks. In terms of deficiency 30% of the sample were at a high risk of deficiency of vitamin B6 and 10% at a high risk of deficiency of vitamin B2. Risk of deficiency had no effect on psychometric task performance, however it was reported that risk of deficiency affected mood, subjects with a moderate risk of deficiency reported higher anxiety rates than subjects with either a low or high risk of deficiency. 16 healthy community dwelling elderly volunteers received Ginkgo Biloba (100mg) daily for eight weeks. It was reported that supplementation with Ginkgo Biloba had no effect on performance of the tasks. 24 healthy community dwelling elderly volunteers received an acute dose of glucose (50g) and placebo (saccharin 23.7 mg). Cognitive performance was assessed at baseline, 30 and 50 minutes post dose. It was reported that supplementation with glucose had no effect on performance of the tasks. It was questioned whether glucose tolerance was associated with differences in mood and task performance. It was reported that subjects with falling blood glucose levels showed improved performance on the Sternberg memory task and reported feeling more vigorous and less fatigued than subjects with rising blood glucose levels. The results of these experiments would seem to indicate that the test methods selected for assessment of cognitive function may not be suitable for the assessment of cognitive enhancement in a healthy elderly population. Based on the findings, implications for future gerontological intervention research were discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Dawe, Rachael Anne.
Date : 1999
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1999.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:08
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851538

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