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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Project Number: 1950-51000-063-15
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 01, 2006
End Date: Sep 30, 2011

LAB:Nutrition and Cognition Determine whether and how nutritional factors, especially B vitamins, can be employed in the understanding and prevention of age-related cognitive impairment in humans and in human populations. Characterize the mechanisms by which nutritionally induced hyperhomocysteinemia affects neuronal function and cognitive performance using transgenic mouse models of human cognitive decline.

LAB:Nutrition and Cognition Collaboration will continue with the Framingham Heart Study cohorts to examine prospective relationships among nutritional status, cognitive performance, homocysteine, and brain morphology by imaging. Using the homebound elderly population, we will study these relationships first cross-sectionally, and then prospectively. We will add other factors, including antioxidant vitamin status and its relation to inflammatory markers and adhesion molecules in the vasculature. We have designed a trial as an adjunct to the large homocysteine lowering intervention on subjects who have undergone renal transplantation to measure the impact of homocysteine lowering on cognitive decline and performance. The animal models we intend to use are the apoE knockout, the APP/PSI and an APP/London, in which we can modify nutritional status with respect to B vitamins and homocysteine levels and examine the relationships between increased sensitivity to behavioral decline. We will compare age-related status of membrane sphingolipids and vitamins K & A in brain regions controlling behavior in aged Fisher rats. We will also compare the status of membrane sphingolipids, one carbon metabolism, and neuronal viability in a human neuronal cell culture model.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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