Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Lifestyle, glucose regulation and the cognitive effects of glucose load in middle-aged adults

  • Leigh M. Riby (a1), Jennifer McLaughlin (a2) and Deborah M. Riby (a3)
Abstract

Interventions aimed at improving glucose regulatory mechanisms have been suggested as a possible source of cognitive enhancement in the elderly. In particular, previous research has identified episodic memory as a target for facilitation after either moderate increases in glycaemia (after a glucose drink) or after improvements in glucose regulation. The present study aimed to extend this research by examining the joint effects of glucose ingestion and glucose regulation on cognition. In addition, risk factors associated with the development of poor glucose regulation in middle-aged adults were considered. In a repeated measures design, thirty-three middle-aged adults (aged 35–55 years) performed a battery of memory and non-memory tasks after either 25 g or 50 g glucose or a sweetness matched placebo drink. To assess the impact of individual differences in glucose regulation, blood glucose measurements were taken on four occasions during testing. A lifestyle and diet questionnaire was also administered. Consistent with previous research, episodic memory ability benefited from glucose ingestion when task demands were high. Blood glucose concentration was also found to predict performance across a number of cognitive domains. Interestingly, the risk factors associated with poor glucose regulation were linked to dietary impacts traditionally associated with poor health, e.g. the consumption of high-sugar sweets and drinks. The research replicates earlier work suggesting that task demands are critical to the glucose facilitation effect. Importantly, the data demonstrate clear associations between elevated glycaemia and relatively poor cognitive performance, which may be partly due to the effect of dietary and lifestyle factors.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Lifestyle, glucose regulation and the cognitive effects of glucose load in middle-aged adults
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Lifestyle, glucose regulation and the cognitive effects of glucose load in middle-aged adults
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Lifestyle, glucose regulation and the cognitive effects of glucose load in middle-aged adults
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr Leigh Martin Riby, fax +44 191 227 4515, email leigh.riby@unn.ac.uk
References
Hide All
1Korol, DL & Gold, PE (1998) Glucose, memory and aging. Am J Clin Nutr 67, 764S771S.
2Messier, C (2004) Glucose and memory, a review. Eur J Pharmacol 90, 3357.
3Riby, LM (2004) The impact of age and task domain on cognitive performance: a meta-analytic review of the glucose facilitation effect. Brain Impairment 5, 145165.
4Tortora, GJ & Grabowski, SR (2003) Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 10th ed.San Diego, USA: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
5Parker, PY & Benton, D (1995) Blood glucose levels selectively influence memory for word lists dichotically presented to the right ear. Neuropsychologia 33, 843854.
6Winocur, G & Gagnon, S (1998) Glucose treatment attenuates spatial learning and memory deficits of aged rats on tests of hippocampal function. Neurobiol Ageing 19, 233241.
7Riby, LM, Marriott, A, Bullock, R, Smallwood, J & McLaughlin, J (2008) The effect of glucose ingestion and glucose regulation on memory performance in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Eur J Clin Nut (In the Press.)
8Manning, CA, Hall, JL & Gold, PE (1990) Glucose effects on memory and other neuropsychological tests in elderly humans. Psychol Sci 1, 307311.
9Manning, CA, Ragozzino, MA & Gold, PE (1993) Glucose enhancement of memory in patients with probable senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Neurobiol Aging 14, 523528.
10Manning, CA, Honn, VJ, Stone, WS, Jane, JS & Gold, PE (1998) Glucose effects on cognition in adults with Down's syndrome. Neuropsychology 12, 479484.
11Newcomer, JW, Craft, S, Fucetola, R, Moldin, SO, Selke, G, Paras, L & Miller, R (1999) Glucose-induced increase in memory performance in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophr Bul 25, 321335.
12Dye, L, Lluch, A & Blundell, JE (2000) Macronutrients and mental performance. Nutrition 16, 10211034.
13Benton, D & Parker, PY (1998) Breakfast, blood glucose and cognition. Am J Clin Nutr 67, 772S778S.
14Messier, C & Gagnon, M (1996) Glucose regulation and cognitive functions: relation to Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. Behav Brain Res 75, 111.
15Cukierman, T, Gerstein, HC & Williamson, JD (2005) Cognitive decline and dementia in diabetes—systematic overview of prospective observational studies. Diabetologia 48, 24602469.
16Engum, A, Mykletun, A, Midthjell, K, Holen, A & Dahl, AA (2005) Depression and diabetes. Diabetes Care 28, 19041909.
17Ivey, FM, Ryan, AS, Hafer-Macko, CE, Garrity, BM, Sorkin, JD, Goldberg, AP & Macko, RF (2006) High prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism and poor sensitivity of fasting plasma glucose in the chronic phase of stroke. Cerebrovasc Disc 22, 368371.
18Messier, C (2005) Impact of impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes on cognitive aging. Neurobiol Aging 26, 2631.
19Alberti, KG & Zimmet, PZ (1998) Definition, diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus and its complications. Part 1: diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus provisional report of a WHO consultation. Diabet Med 15, 539553.
20Riby, LM, Meikle, A & Glover, C (2004) The effects of age, glucose ingestion and gluco-regulatory control on episodic memory. Age Ageing 33, 483487.
21Gradman, TJ, Laws, A, Thompson, LW & Reaven, GM (1993) Verbal learning and/or memory improves with glycemic control in older subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Am Geriatr Soc 41, 13051312.
22Unwin, N, Shaw, J, Zimmet, P & Alberti, K (2002) Impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glycaemia: the current status on definition and intervention. Diabet Med 19, 708723.
23Meikle, A, Riby, LM & Stollery, B (2004) The impact of glucose ingestion and gluco-regulatory control on cognitive performance: a comparison of younger and older adults. Hum Psychopharmacol 19, 523535.
24Orisaka, M, Nakai, K, Tominaga, M & Suwabe, A (2006) Risk factors for development of pre-diabetic state from normal glucose regulation. J Exp Med 210, 279283.
25Mackay, C, Cox, T, Burrows, G & Lazzerini, T (1978) An inventory for the measurement of self-reported stress and arousal. Br J Soc Clin Psychol 17, 283284.
26Gans, KM, Ross, E, Barner, CW, Wylie-Rosett, J, McMurray, J & Eaton, J (2003) REAP and WAVE: New tools to rapidly assess/discuss nutrition with patients. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences. J Nutr 133, 556S562S.
27Segal-Isaacson, CJ, Johnson, S & Tomuta, V (2004) A randomized trial comparing low-fat and low carbohydrate diets matched for energy and protein. Obes Res 12, 130S140S.
28Sünram-Lea, SI, Foster, JK, Durlach, P & Perez, C (2001) Glucose facilitation of cognitive performance in healthy young adults: examination of the influence of fast-duration, time of day and pre-consumption plasma glucose levels. Psychopharm 157, 4654.
29Kennedy, DO & Scholey, AB (2000) Glucose administration, heart rate and cognitive performance: effects of increasing mental effort. Psychopharmacology 149, 6371.
30Nelson, HE (1982) National Adult Reading Test, 2nd ed.Windsor, UK: NFER-Nelson.
31Wechsler, D (1997) WAIS III: Administration and Scoring Manual. San Antonio: Harcourt.
32Lezak, MD (1995) Neuropsychological Assessment, 3rd ed.New York: Oxford University Press.
33Wechsler, D (1997) WMS III: Administration and Scoring Manual. San Antonio: Harcourt.
34Meikle, A, Riby, LM & Stollery, B (2004) The impact of glucose ingestion and gluco-regulatory control on cognitive performance: a comparison of younger and middle aged adults. Hum Psychopharmacol Clin Exp 19, 523535.
35Meikle, A, Riby, LM & Stollery, B (2005) Memory processing and the glucose facilitation effect: the effects of stimulus difficulty and memory load. Nuti Neurosci 8, 227232.
36Riby, LM, McMurtrie, H, Smallwood, J, Ballantyne, C, Meikle, A & Smith, E (2006) The facilitative effects of glucose ingestion on memory retrieval in younger and older adults: is task difficulty or task domain critical? Brit J Nutr 95, 414420.
37Krebs, DL & Parent, MB (2005) The enhancing effects of hippocampal infusions of glucose are not restricted to spatial working memory. Neurobiol Learn Mem 83, 168172.
38Scholey, AB, Laing, S & Kennedy, DO (2006) Blood glucose changes and memory: effects of manipulating emotionality and mental effort. Biol Psychol 71, 1219.
39Riby, LM, Sunram-Lea, S, Graham, C, Foster, J, Cooper, T, Moodie, C & Gunn, VP (2008) The P3b versus the P3a: an event related potential investigation of the glucose facilitation effect. J Psychopharm (In the Press.)
40Stone, WS, Thermenos, HW, Tarbox, SI, Poldrack, RA & Seidman, LJ (2005) Medial temporal and prefrontal lobe activation during verbal encoding following glucose ingestion in schizophrenia: a pilot fMRI study. Neurobiol Learn Mem 83, 5464.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score