Lutein’s Influence on Neural Processing Speed

Publish Date: 1 April 2013
Author(s): Billy R. Hammond Jr, PhD

Abstract:

Macular carotenoids, such as lutein, influence many aspects of central nervous system function. These effects extend from optical filtering within the eye to physiological activity of neurons within the brain. A growing body of evidence suggests that lutein can enhance neural processing speed. This is particularly important for the elderly since slowing appears to be a central feature of cognitive decline and impairment. Dr Hammond describes the mechanisms by which lutein could produce these effects—e.g., by reducing oxidative and inflammatory stress, improving neural collective processing, and preserving brain white matter. He concludes that lutein likely serves multiple functions within the central nervous system and that these functions seem optimally suited to the preservation and perhaps even enhancement of cognitive performance.
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Author Bios

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Billy R. Hammond Jr, Phd

University of Georgia, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Vision Sciences Laboratory, USA
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