Effect of iron deficiency on simultaneous measures of behavior, brain activity, and energy expenditure in the performance of a cognitive task

Michael J. Wenger, Diane M. DellaValle, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, Jere D. Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Iron deficiency (ID)–the highly prevalent nutritional deficiency–has been shown to have deleterious effects on measures of cognitive performance and brain activity. Many of these results are suggestive of the impact of ID on neurotransmitter regulation and myelination. A third critical potential effect of ID on brain function is at the level of brain energy expenditure; however, to date there has not been any method for indirectly estimating the impact of ID on energy expenditure in humans in the context of cognitive work. Methods: We report here a study comparing ID and iron sufficient (IS) college students in which simultaneous behavioral, encephelographic (EEG), and metabolic data were collected in a task designed as a cognitive analog to standard physical exertion tasks. Results: We show that increases in cognitive demands produced decrements in behavioral measures of performance, and increases in EEG and metabolic measures of work. Critically, we found that the magnitudes of those changes were directly related to iron levels. Discussion: We find support for the idea that brain activity mediates the relationship between cognitive demands and energy expenditure, with ferritin and hemoglobin moderating those relationships in distinct ways. Finally, we show that levels of energy expenditure can be indirectly estimated by measures of EEG spectral power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

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Energy Metabolism
Iron
Brain
Physical Exertion
Ferritins
Neurotransmitter Agents
Hemoglobins
Students

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

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abstract = "Objectives: Iron deficiency (ID)–the highly prevalent nutritional deficiency–has been shown to have deleterious effects on measures of cognitive performance and brain activity. Many of these results are suggestive of the impact of ID on neurotransmitter regulation and myelination. A third critical potential effect of ID on brain function is at the level of brain energy expenditure; however, to date there has not been any method for indirectly estimating the impact of ID on energy expenditure in humans in the context of cognitive work. Methods: We report here a study comparing ID and iron sufficient (IS) college students in which simultaneous behavioral, encephelographic (EEG), and metabolic data were collected in a task designed as a cognitive analog to standard physical exertion tasks. Results: We show that increases in cognitive demands produced decrements in behavioral measures of performance, and increases in EEG and metabolic measures of work. Critically, we found that the magnitudes of those changes were directly related to iron levels. Discussion: We find support for the idea that brain activity mediates the relationship between cognitive demands and energy expenditure, with ferritin and hemoglobin moderating those relationships in distinct ways. Finally, we show that levels of energy expenditure can be indirectly estimated by measures of EEG spectral power.",
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Effect of iron deficiency on simultaneous measures of behavior, brain activity, and energy expenditure in the performance of a cognitive task. / Wenger, Michael J.; DellaValle, Diane M.; Murray-Kolb, Laura E.; Haas, Jere D.

In: Nutritional Neuroscience, Vol. 22, No. 3, 04.03.2019, p. 196-206.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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