Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Project Number: 8050-51000-081-04-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 15, 2011
End Date: Oct 1, 2014
To assess the benefits of A. bisporus mushrooms for improving cognitive and motor function in aging. We hope to show that mushroom supplementation attenuates specific cognitive deficits normally associated with aging. This information can then be utilized to show that the addition of mushrooms to the diet can increase "health span" in aging, and possibly slow the aging process by reducing the uincidence and/or delaying the onset of debilitating neurodegenerative disease.
The effects of dietary supplementation with graded doses of raw white button mustrooms (A. bisporum) will be examined in the rats via age-sensitive motor behaviors and cognitive behaviors that are selective for reference and working memories. Following 12 weeks of dietary mushroom supplementation, aged rats will undergo behavioral testing with age-sensitive tests of psychomotor and cognitive behavior. These behaviors will be assessed using the Morris water maze and tests of motor funciton. All of these tests have been validated as being age sensitive (e.g., demonstrated a significant decline as a function of age). These studies should serve to elaborate further the beneficial effects of mushrooms on behavior in aging.