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Glucose administration and cognitive function: differential effects of age and effort during a dual task paradigm in younger and older adults

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychopharmacology
Issue number6
Volume232
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1135-1142
Publication statusPublished
Early online date7/10/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Rationale Current research suggests that glucose facilitates performance on cognitive tasks which possess an episodic memory component and a relatively high level of cognitive demand. However, the extent to which this glucose facilitation effect is uniform across the lifespan is uncertain.
Methods This study was a repeated measures, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial designed to assess the cogni- tive effects of glucose in younger and older adults under single and dual task conditions. Participants were 24 healthy younger (average age 20.6 years) and 24 healthy older adults (average age 72.5 years). They completed a recognition memory task after consuming drinks containing 25 g glucose and a placebo drink, both in the presence and absence of a secondary tracking task. Results and conclusions Glucose enhanced recognition mem- ory response time and tracking precision during the secondary task, in older adults only. These findings do not support pref- erential targeting of hippocampal function by glucose, rather they suggest that glucose administration differentially increases the availability of attentional resources in older individuals.