Poor glucose regulation predicts memory deficits in individual elderly humans. The present experiment determined whether glucose regulation was also related to memory and to sleep in age rodents. Glucose regulation, inhibitory avoidance, and daytime sleep were assessed in young (3-month-old) and old (24-month-old) rats. Correlations were obtained between glucose regulation and the other variables in individual rats. In old rats, the magnitude of increases in blood glucose levels after glucose infections (500 mg/kg) was inversely correlated with retention of inhibitory avoidance and duration of paradoxical sleep bouts. In young rats, these measures were not significantly correlated. Because the deficits in sleep and memory in aged rats were largely confined to those rats with poor glucose control, peripheral glucose regulation may be a useful biological marker that accompanies cognitive and neurobiological dysfunction during aging.
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