CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Next time an older person says that thinking is exhausting, believe it. Concentration, researchers say, drains glucose from a key part of the brains of young and old rats, but dramatically more from older brains, which also take longer to recover. The findings, detailed in two studies published in May, are part of research that eventually may impact how schools schedule classes and meals as well as our understanding of age-related deficits in memory and learning, said lead researcher Paul E. Gold of the University of Illinois. "The brain runs on glucose," said Ewan C. McNay of Yale University. "Young rats can do a pretty good job of supplying all the glucose that a particular area of the brain needs until the task becomes difficult. For an old rat given the same task, the brain glucose supply vanishes out the window. This correlates with a big deficit in performance. A lack of fuel affects the ability to think and remember."
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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