X-ray images of a brain

Age-related neurological disorders are a growing burden for older adults and the healthcare system, as 1 in 7 Americans over age 70 has some form of dementia and five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Research teams are working to identify associations between foods, such as berries and leafy green vegetables, and micronutrients, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D and vitamin K, in delaying progression of cognitive impairment. We are also studying the effects of moderate‑intensity physical activity on improving cognitive performance in people with motoric cognitive risk syndrome.

Key research objectives

  • Determine the effects of genetic, molecular and environmental influences on the aging brain, and the modifying impact of specific nutrients on neural cell function and behavior, including cognition.
  • Determine the relationships between specific foods, nutrients, and other bioactive dietary components of dietary patterns and healthy aging, such as cognitive function.
  • Determine the mechanisms by which selected nutrients and/or varying modes of exercise/physical activity influence skeletal muscle performance, cognitive performance, physical functioning, and quality of life in older adults.

Thomas Biederer, PhD
Sarah Booth, PhD
Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD
Roger Fielding, PhD
Xueyan Fu, PhD
Paul Jacques, DSc
Kyla Shea, PhD
Barbara Shukitt-Hale, PhD
Tong Zheng, PhD