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Title:Enhancing learning and memory in the aged: Interactions between dietary supplementation and exercise
Author(s):Gibbons, Trisha
Advisor(s):Johnson, Rodney W.
Department / Program:Nutritional Sciences
Discipline:Nutritional Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Aging
exercise
nutrition
epigallocatechin gallate
β-alanine
learning and memory
cognition
oxidative stress
hippocampus
Abstract:Age associated cognitive decline in human and rodents has been linked with decreases in hippocampal neurogenesis and a chronic low grade inflammation in the central nervous system. Physical exercise increases neurogenesis and reverses some cognitive deficits observed in the elderly, but the extent to which dietary supplementation may interact with exercise is unknown. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, a catechin high in green tea) can ameliorate age-related cognitive decline. In addition, β-alanine (β-Ala, a naturally occurring amino acid) may be beneficial against cognitive aging. We hypothesized that exercise (voluntary wheel running, VWR) and dietary supplementation with EGCG (182 mg/kg/d) and β-Ala (417 mg/kg/d) would interact to improve cognition of aged mice. Balb/c mice aged (19 mo) served as sedentary controls or were provided access to running with or without EGCG + β-Ala for 4 weeks. The Morris water maze (MWM) and contextual fear conditioning (CFC) were used to assess learning and memory while BrdU labeling was used to measure new cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus (DG). VWR improved cognition during probe trials in the MWM, increased time spent frozen during both context and auditory cue testing in CFC, and increased BDNF mRNA expression within hippocampus. Dietary supplementation did not affect any of these measurements. Collectively, these data verify that exercise has positive effects on cognition of aged mice by enhancing newborn cells in the DG and increasing neurotrophin expression.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/49842
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Trisha Gibbons
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
2016-09-22
Date Deposited:2014-05


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