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Home List of Titles Can taking a daily multivitamin improve cognitive performance in the elderly? Evidence from a steady state visually evoked potential investigation of memory in elderly women
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/94600
- Can taking a daily multivitamin improve cognitive performance in the elderly? Evidence from a steady state visually evoked potential investigation of memory in elderly women
- Macpherson, H.; Pipingas, A.; Ellis, K.
- Background: The concept of healthy cognitive ageing is gaining importance as rapid population ageing is taking place in the western world. As a consequence, there is a growing interest in the potential for nutritional interventions to improve cognitive function in the elderly. Many vitamins, such as the B vitamins and antioxidants, are essential for normal neurophysiological function and a relationship between these vitamins and cognition in the elderly has been established in population studies. However, results from randomised controlled trials have been less promising, possibly due to methodological inconsistencies. To date, no studies have used electrophysiological measures to assess cognitive changes following multivitamin supplementation. Study design, aims and hypotheses: The present study utilized the steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited by a task irrelevant 13 Hz light flicker to investigate the effects of multivitamin supplementation on working memory. The trial was designed as a 16 week, double blind, placebo controlled investigation into the effects of daily multivitamin supplementation on a battery of computerised cognitive tasks, verbal recall measures, and the SSVEP associated with performance of a spatial working memory (SWM) task. It was hypothesised that multivitamin supplementation would improve speed of response on computerised memory and information processing tasks and that effects of the multivitamin would be observed on the SSVEP. Method: Participants were 51 elderly women, free from dementia and aged between 64 and 82 years. At baseline, participants completed the Swinburne University Computerised Cognitive Assessment Battery (SUCCAB) and the logical memory sub-test from the Weschler Memory Scale. The SSVEP was elicited by a 13 Hz light flicker superimposed on the visual field and was recorded from 64 electrode channels during the performance of a SWM delayed response task and a control task. The same procedure using alternate forms of the cognitive tests was repeated at the 16 week post-treatment assessment. Results: The results indicated that the 16 week multivitamin treatment significantly improved response time for spatial working memory and a composite memory measure from the SUCCAB. No effects of the multivitamin were identified for the information processing measures from the SUCCAB or for verbal memory. Following multivitamin supplementation, SSVEP amplitude during the SWM task was significantly reduced and latency was increased at right frontal, central and temporal sites across the task duration. In contrast, these effects were smaller, and less extensive in the placebo group, reaching significance only at occipital sites. As better working memory task performance across all participants at baseline was associated with larger frontal latency increases, this pattern of activity in those who received the multivitamin may represent an improvement in memory-related neural processes. Behaviourally, there was a greater reduction in response time on the SWM for the multivitamin treatment than the placebo; however, this effect did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: Sixteen week supplementation with a multivitamin was shown to improve measures of memory and the SSVEP appears to be a sensitive measure of these nutraceutical effects.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences. Brain Sciences Institute
- International Journal of Psychophysiology: abstracts of the 15th World Congress of Psychophysiology of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP), Budapest, Hungary, 01-04 September 2010, Vol. 77, no. 3 (Sep 2010), p. 261
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1116 Medical Physiology; 1701 Psychology
- Cognitive performance; Elderly people; Memory; Multivitamins; Visually evoked potentials
- Elsevier BV
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010.
- Peer reviewed