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Title: Technologies and novel methodologies for the assessment of nutritional interventions
Author: Dodd, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 7067
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2016
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The aim of this thesis was to identify novel techniques in the assessment of nutritional intervention effects upon cognition. The impact of combining different cognitive and physiological assessments of nutritional interventions was explored in order to establish whether it could provide a more detailed picture of any effects, as well as the mechanisms by which they may occur. This thesis initially used two different technologies, electroencephalography (EEG) and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to assess the cerebro-electrical and haemodynamic impact of cognitive task performance following Ginkgo biloba and a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination, in healthy young adults. Following on from this, the effects of two different doses of Ginkgo biloba were investigated on cerebral blood flow and oxygenation parameters during the repeated administration of cognitively demanding tasks. The synergistic effect of two interventions believed to possess disparate effects on cerebral blood flow; caffeine and L-theanine, were then assessed during the performance of a range of cognitive tasks. To evaluate the peripheral as well as the central impact of task performance, a further assessment of (two doses) caffeine was conducted whilst cerebral blood flow and oxygenation parameters were monitored alongside an assessment of metabolism via indirect calorimetry (ICa). In an extension of the methodology, an exercise element was incorporated into the protocol and beetroot juice was administered whilst cerebral blood flow and haemodynamics were monitored during task performance, before, during and after cycling at different exercise intensities. The results of this thesis have identified that the methodologies adopted are capable of detecting changes in cerebral oxygenation as a result of, nutritional challenge; differing doses of the same intervention; the synergistic effect of two different interventions, and during incremental exercise whilst performing cognitive tasks. The concomitant measurement of NIRS and ICa were also shown to be effective in simultaneously determining the somatic and cognitive demands of a task. These findings demonstrate the positive contribution to research of combining technologies and methodologies in the assessment of nutritional interventions and provide valuable information in respect of their use in cognitive research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B400 Nutrition ; C800 Psychology