9:00 am - 10:00 am
A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Angela Juby. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
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Thesis Topic: Addressing the knowledge gaps in two common age-related conditions, both associated with nutrition and physical activity: Alzheimer’s Dementia and Sarcopenia.
The prevalence of age-associated chronic disease is increasing, including Alzheimer’s dementia [AD] and sarcopenia. Early identification of sarcopenia and development of nutrition and lifestyle regimens such as Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) supplementation to treat AD in the clinical setting is important. An MCT dose-response study evaluating ketogenic response (beta hydroxybutyrate [BHB] and longitudinal evaluations of a) MCT oil supplementation in a randomized double blind controlled cross over trial (8-months) with open label extension (7-months) on cognitive function in adults with AD and b) a 12-month group social physical activity program on sarcopenic status were conducted. BHB response to MCT is equivalent in those with and without AD (p>0.05). In AD, consuming ≥ 30ml MCT daily showed no cognitive difference in the cross-over phase, but with open-label phase exposure (for a total of 11-months of continuous MCT), cognitive benefit were seen on the Cognigram ® attention and psychomotor subscale (P=.003) in the placebo start group. MCT over the 15-months was safe. Those with higher baseline MMSE were more likely to have stable or improved MMSE (P= .04). The rate of sarcopenia was 7.1%, and pre-sarcopenia 28.6%, and remained stable in the majority over 12-months. Forty-two percent participated in the group social activity program, and those with pre, probable or sarcopenia improved Tinetti balance (P=.04) and total scores (P=.05). Self-reported leisure activity was not associated with sarcopenic status or Tinetti scores. MCT is an equally effective, tolerated, source of BHB in participants with and without AD. 11-months continuous consumption of MCT appears beneficial in some cognitive domains. The rate of pre- and sarcopenia in this cohort was higher than predicted, but remained relatively stable over 12-months. Participation in a group social activity program seemed more beneficial for balance than leisure physical activities alone. Neither affected sarcopenic status.