• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.

     

    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • 2019 Senior Report Senior Report: Older Americans have more options for home care, but still struggling.

    The United Health Foundation has released results of a sweeping new study benchmarking the health of older adults. The America's Health Rankings® Senior Report was created in partnership with GAPNA to improve the health of America's seniors.

    The data will help advanced practice nurses and other providers deliver quality care.

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  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • FREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Meaningful Conversations throughout the Course of Illness"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)


    For November/December 2019 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Impact of Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens Linked with Slower Age-Related Cognitive Decline

A recent report in the journal Neurology found that a diet containing approximately one serving of green leafy vegetables per day is associated with slower age-related cognitive decline.

Dr. Martha Clare Morris and colleagues from Rush University in Chicago and the Tufts Human Nutrition Research Center in Boston followed 960 older adults enrolled in the Rush Memory and Aging Project.

The research team focused on the level of consumption of green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, collards, and lettuce, which have been suggested in previous research to have protective factors against cognitive decline and examined the association with performance on cognitive tests.

The average age of the participants was 81 years and all were dementia-free at the beginning of the study.

Over an average of nearly 5 years, participants underwent an annual battery of tests that assessed cognition in five domains (episodic memory, working memory, semantic memory, visuospatial ability, and perceptual speed).

Data from food frequency questionnaires administered at the beginning of the study were used to assess how frequently people ate some 144 items over the previous 12 months. Dietary intake levels of the nutrients of interest were estimated from responses to all food items.

The three green leafy vegetable items and their serving sizes included in the questionnaire were: spinach (1/2 cup cooked), kale/collards/greens (1/2 cup cooked), and lettuce salad (1 cup raw). Additional diet, health, and demographic information was collected during annual visits.

In the study, consumption of green leafy vegetables was positively and significantly associated with slower cognitive decline.

When comparing the highest daily consumption (median 1.3 servings a day) with the lowest (median 0.09 servings a day), the rate of cognitive decline among those who consumed the most to those who consumed the least was equivalent to being 11 years younger cognitively, based on average global cognitive scores over time.

There was no evidence the association was affected by cardiovascular conditions, depressive symptoms, low weight, or obesity.

The researchers also examined the relationship between cognitive change and nutrients for which green leafy vegetables are a rich source (folate, phylloquinone, nitrate, alpha-tocopherol, kaempferol, and lutein).

Intake of these nutrients were each individually positively and significantly associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and were not due to other underlying health issues.  Further investigation indicated phylloquinone, lutein, and folate likely were the source of the effect seen on cognitive decline.

This study indicates that consumption of green leafy vegetables is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in older adults, possibly due to the neuroprotective actions of specific nutrients.

As research continues, the researchers suggest adding a daily serving of green leafy vegetables to one’s diet may contribute to brain health.

To learn more, see Morris et al. (2017). Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline. Neurology, 90(3), e214-e222.

Plan your trip to the nation’s capital during the GAPNA Annual Conference, September 26-29, 2018 by checking out all the things to do, places to eat, and ways to have fun.

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