Next Article in Journal
Consumption of 100% Pure Fruit Juice and Dietary Quality in French Adults: Analysis of a Nationally Representative Survey in the Context of the WHO Recommended Limitation of Free Sugars
Next Article in Special Issue
The Food-Specific Serum IgG Reactivity in Major Depressive Disorder Patients, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients and Healthy Controls
Previous Article in Journal
Colour Counts: Sunlight and Skin Type as Drivers of Vitamin D Deficiency at UK Latitudes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Rationale for Dietary Antioxidant Treatment of ADHD
Open AccessArticle

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Are Positively Associated with Visual–Spatial Functioning in Older Adults: An fMRI Study

1
Department of Psychology, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3
Institute of Gerontology, Department of Health Promotions and Behavior, College of Public Health, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040458
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and the Function of the Central Nervous System)
Lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) are two xanthophyll carotenoids that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Previous work has demonstrated their importance for eye health and preventing diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. An emerging literature base has also demonstrated the importance of L and Z in cognition, neural structure, and neural efficiency. The present study aimed to better understand the mechanisms by which L and Z relate to cognition, in particular, visual–spatial processing and decision-making in older adults. We hypothesized that markers of higher levels of L and Z would be associated with better neural efficiency during a visual–spatial processing task. L and Z were assessed via standard measurement of blood serum and retinal concentrations. Visual–spatial processing and decision-making were assessed via a judgment of line orientation task (JLO) completed during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan. The results demonstrated that individuals with higher concentrations of L and Z showed a decreased blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal during task performance (i.e., “neural efficiency”) in key areas associated with visual–spatial perception, processing, decision-making, and motor coordination, including the lateral occipital cortex, occipital pole, superior and middle temporal gyri, superior parietal lobule, superior and middle frontal gyri, and pre- and post-central gyri. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of the relationship of L and Z to visual–spatial processing at a neural level using in vivo methodology. Our findings suggest that L and Z may impact brain health and cognition in older adults by enhancing neurobiological efficiency in a variety of regions that support visual perception and decision-making. View Full-Text
Keywords: xanthophylls; visual-spatial reasoning; fMRI; older adults; cognition xanthophylls; visual-spatial reasoning; fMRI; older adults; cognition
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Mewborn, C.M.; Lindbergh, C.A.; Robinson, T.L.; Gogniat, M.A.; Terry, D.P.; Jean, K.R.; Hammond, B.R.; Renzi-Hammond, L.M.; Miller, L.S. Lutein and Zeaxanthin Are Positively Associated with Visual–Spatial Functioning in Older Adults: An fMRI Study. Nutrients 2018, 10, 458.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop