Six-month intervention with wild blueberries improved speed of processing in mild cognitive decline: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.

Carol L. Cheatham, L. Grant Canipe, Grace Millsap, Julie M. Stegall, Sheau Ching Chai, Kelly W. Sheppard, Mary Ann Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: As the sector of the population over 65y increases, cognitive decline and dementia become a public health issue. Interventions to improve brain health and thus, quality of life for older adults are needed. Objective: It was hypothesized that those consuming a flavonoid-rich, lyophilized wild blueberry powder would evidence improvements in cognitive performance as measured behaviorally and electrophysiologically compared to those consuming a placebo powder across a 6-month intervention period. Design: In a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial, participants experiencing cognitive issues as determined by scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) were randomized to consume either wild blueberry (n = 44) or placebo (n = 42) powder daily for 6 months. Participants who were not experiencing any cognitive issues were included as a reference group (n = 45). Participants were tested at baseline and outcome on the Cambridge Neurological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and in an electrophysiological paradigm known as event-related potentials (ERP). Results: Tests of specific cognitive abilities using the CANTAB showed speed of processing not only improved in the blueberry intervention group relative to the placebo group across the 6-month intervention, but blueberries also restored speed of processing to the level of the reference group. The ERP results also showed that, relative to those consuming placebo, speed of processing improved for those in the blueberry group; this improvement was most prominent in those 75-80y. Conclusions: Consumption of wild blueberries for six months improves cognitive aging sequelae by improving the speed of information processing in older adults. Trial registration:ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01515098.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1033
Number of pages15
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • CANTAB
  • aging
  • event-related potentials
  • flavonoids
  • mild cognitive decline
  • polyphenols
  • speed of processing
  • wild blueberries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • General Neuroscience
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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