Date of Award

4-16-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Marise B. Parent, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Timothy J. Bartness, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kim L. Huhman, Ph.D.

Abstract

Fructose consumption has increased exponentially during the past four decades. The physiological effects of a high fructose diet include obesity and insulin resistance. In animal models, the effects of a high fructose diet on fat distribution are inconclusive in that some studies find increases in body mass and lipids while others find no effect. Recent findings indicate that a high fructose diet causes hippocampal insulin resistance in hamsters, raising the possibility that the diet causes impairments in cognition. The following experiments tested the hypotheses that a high fructose diet alters fat distribution rather than total body mass and impairs hippocampal-dependent memory. Results indicated that the high fructose diet did not affect fat distribution, but did increase plasma triacylglycerides. Interestingly, the diet also impaired spatial reference memory in the Morris water maze, and this effect was correlated with plasma triacylglycerides. These results indicate that a high fructose diet impairs brain function.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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