|MILLER, MARSHALL - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University|
Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/13/2013
Publication Date: 4/20/2013
Citation: Shukitt Hale, B., Miller, M.G. 2013. Nutritional interventions protect against age-related deficits in behavior: from animals to humans. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference. Abstract 27:862.10.
Technical Abstract: Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks. Similar changes in behavior occur in humans with age, and the development of methods to retard or reverse these age-related neuronal and behavioral deficits could increase healthy aging and decrease health care costs. In the present study, men and women, 21-75 years of age, were recruited to investigate declines in mobility and cognition. Balance and gait were measured using a treadmill instrumented with an array of high-density pressure sensors. Spatial learning and memory were measured using a virtual version of the Morris water maze and executive function measured using the trail-making test. Results show that postural sway increased while preferred walking speed, executive function, and spatial navigation decreased with increasing age. We have shown that dietary interventions with fruits and vegetables high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity are able to prevent and reverse the neurochemical and behavioral changes that occur in aging when fed to rats from 19-21 months of age. The test battery employed in the present study shows changes parallel to what we see in rodent studies; therefore, it presents a useful model for assessing the effect of dietary interventions in older adults.