Past Research

Neural Consequences of Metabolic Syndrome

The major aims of this project included exploring the impact of metabolic and cardiovascular health on cognition and brain health in middle-aged adults. Participation in this study consisted of two separate visits in which participants underwent non-invasive measurements of cardiovascular health  (e.g., blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol readings, and arterial stiffness), tests of cognition, and a brain imaging session. Participants received the following as a result of their participation: 1) Copy of blood pressure, resting heart rate, blood cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and body fat percentage; 2) Results from measurements of arterial stiffness; 3) Results from assessment of aerobic fitness; and 4) Results of the cognitive assessment.


Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Executive Function, and Attentional Bias

The study investigated how cardiovascular risk factors may relate to higher cognitive processes (also known as “executive function”) and attention to visual images in adults 18-24 years of age. The study duration was approximately 2 hours and was completed in one visit. Participation involved non-invasive measures of cardiovascular assessments (e.g. blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol readings), paper tests of cognition, and a visual assessment via eye-tracking. Participants received the following information free of charge: 1) results from cardiovascular assessments and 2) results of the cognitive tests.


High Blood Pressure and/or Diabetes Type II Study

The relationship between cardiovascular health (i.e., heart pumping efficiency, level of atherosclerosis in blood vessels, and blood pressure) and brain function and cognition was investigated.


Insulin and Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Disease Study

This study was based on the results of recent studies which suggested that people with memory impairment may have problems with the way in which their body uses blood sugar. These problems may be due in part to the way certain hormones, such as insulin, affect the body’s ability to use sugar. In people with Alzheimer’s disease, improvements in blood sugar regulation have been shown to improve the ability to remember new information. These findings are interesting because they provide some clues about what causes problems with memory, attention, and concentration in some people with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.

Some new findings indicate that insulin, when administered as a “nasal spray” into the nasal passages, improves memory in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. The purpose of this study was to understand the mechanisms of insulin-mediated improvements in memory. Using insulin in this way is experimental and we do not know if it will be effective in helping to improve every individual’s memory.


Physical Fitness, Cardiovascular, and Brain Health Study

The study explored the impact of physical fitness on cardiovascular and brain health.


Exercise Study

This study investigated the impact that exercise may have on cardiovascular and brain health. The assessment visits involved non-invasive measures of cardiovascular health (blood pressure, heart rate, ECG), paper tests of cognition, and brain imaging. Additional measures included items such as cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 max), body composition (DEXA), and blood lipid & glucose profile both before and after an exercise program.


Relaxation Study

This research study investigated how relaxation training may benefit cardiovascular and brain health. The study duration was approximately 16 weeks and involves a 12-week relaxation program and a few assessment visits. The assessment visits involved non-invasive measures of cardiovascular health (blood pressure, heart rate, ECG), paper tests of cognition, and brain imaging. Additional measures included items such as cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition (DEXA), and blood lipid & glucose profile both before and after the relaxation program.


DISCLAIMER: The results of our studies are gathered for research purposes only and should not take the place of a medical or therapeutic diagnosis treatment.