Glucose And Memory

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Glucose has been found to have diverse effects on different strains of memory. Glucose, a simple sugar, is often found in carbohydrates and should be moderately ingested in one’s diet. It provides energy to not only the body, but allows the brain to function properly. Glucose travels across the blood-brain barrier through facilitated transport in order to do so. A lack of glucose can result in weakness and fatigue due to the brain attaining energy from one’s fat and muscles instead of sugar. This is often seen in individuals with eating disorders. A great deal of diets suggest that glucose should be reduced or even eliminated, but a multitude of studies and research show that attaining the right amount of glucose can have positive effects on…show more content…
Age plays a key role in this, considering it is often associated with a decline in cognitive functioning. Another reason for this is due to the fact that age is also linked to a decrease in glucose metabolism and tolerance (Gagnon, Greenwood & Bherer, 2011). In older adults, one focus seems to be episodic memory. Riby and colleagues (2007) chose to study glucose effects in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to see if the administration of glucose would show any signs of improvements. Multiple tasks were given to twenty-four patients with MCI and twenty-four older adults (mean age = 71). Each participant was given a drink that either included glucose or saccharin. The picture recognition task consisted of the presentation of 20 drawings. During the recognition phase, they were shown 40 drawings (20 target, 20 non-target) and asked to choose which ones had been seen prior. The story task involved a passage read by the experimenter. Each participant had to attempt to recall as much as they could immediately after, and then again later on. In the final task, participants were instructed to respond to a frequent target, and withhold their response to an infrequent non-target via a computerized attention task. It was found that blood glucose levels were higher in the participants with MCI. Another key finding was that episodic memory was responsive to glucose consumption. This was seen in older adults during the immediate and delayed story recall (Rigby et al., 2007). It was also seen in MCI participants in the delayed story recall. By looking at the effects in older adults and MCI patients, it allows for further knowledge regarding if glucose only aids in memory for those who have no impairments in cognitive functioning, or if it can also show improvements in those who
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