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Title: Assessment of berry fruit's effects on mobility and cognition in aging

item MILLER, MARSHALL G. - Tufts University
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: American Aging Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2013
Publication Date: 5/31/2013
Citation: Shukitt Hale, B., Miller, M. 2013. Assessment of berry fruit's effects on mobility and cognition in aging. American Aging Association. 42nd Annual Meeting, Pre-conference, Aging and Nutrition Program, Aging: Prevention, Reversal and Slowing. Abstract #2, p. 31.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Changes in aging, in both animals and humans, include parallel decrements in mobility and cognition, even in the absence of degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases. Diet has long been known to influence aging; however, specific whole foods are now being investigated for their effect on the aging brain. Research, conducted in our lab, has shown that dietary berry fruit can improve mobility and cognition in aged rodents, in part due to reduced levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. A recent study in our laboratory established a methodology for assessing the effects of dietary interventions on age-related declines in mobility and cognition among older adults. Importantly, this study used methodology which parallels behavioral tasks employed in our rodent model. Results indicate increases in postural sway and declines in gait speed, spatial navigation, and executive function. Preliminary results from our ongoing study expand this methodology to investigate the effects of a dietary blueberry intervention on healthy older adults (60-75 years of age).