Response variability to glucose facilitation of cognitive enhancement

Lauren Owen, Andrew Scholey, Yvonne Finnegan, Sandra I. Sünram-Lea

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21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Glucose facilitation of cognitive function has been widely reported in previous studies (including our own). However, several studies have also failed to detect glucose facilitation. There is sparsity of research examining the factors that modify the effect of glucose on cognition. The aims of the present study were to (1) demonstrate the previously observed enhancement of cognition through glucose administration and (2) investigate some of the factors that may exert moderating roles on the behavioural response to glucose, including glucose regulation, body composition (BC) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response. A total of twenty-four participants took part in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, repeated-measures study, which examined the effect of 25 and 60Â g glucose compared with placebo on cognitive function. At 1 week before the study commencement, all participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Glucose facilitated performance on tasks of numeric and spatial working memory, verbal declarative memory and speed of recognition. Moderating variables were examined using several indices of glucoregulation and BC. Poorer glucoregulation predicted improved immediate word recall accuracy following the administration of 25Â g glucose compared with placebo. Those with better glucoregulation showed performance decrements on word recall accuracy following the administration of 25Â g glucose compared with placebo. These findings are in line with accumulating evidence that glucose load may preferentially enhance cognition in those with poorer glucoregulation. Furthermore, the finding that individuals with better glucoregulation may suffer impaired performance following a glucose load is novel and requires further substantiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1873-1884
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume110
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Cognition
  • Glucoregulation
  • Glucose
  • Memory
  • Mood

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