AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Plant Compounds May Boost Brain in Older Adults, Study Says

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The same compounds that give plants and vegetables their vibrant colors might be able to bolster brain functioning in older adults, according to a recent study from the University of Georgia. The research from the department of psychology is the first to use fMRI technology to investigate how levels of those compounds affect brain activity and showed that study participants with lower levels had to rely on more brain power to complete memory-oriented tasks. People get these compounds, known as cartoenoids, from their diets, and two of them – lutein and zeaxathin – have been shown in previous research to bolster eye and cognitive health in older adults. What isn’t known is the neural mechanisms underlying the relationship between these compounds and cognition, said Cutter Lindbergh, first author of the study and a doctoral candidate in the psychology department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Click here to read more.

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