Glucose enhancement of performance on memory tests in young and aged humans

Neuropsychologia. 1989;27(9):1129-38. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(89)90096-1.


Recent findings indicate that glucose administration enhances memory processes in rodents. This study examined the effects of glucose on memory in humans. After drinking glucose- or saccharin-flavored beverages, college-aged and elderly humans were tested with modified versions of the Wechsler Memory Scale. Beverages and tests were administered in a counter-balanced, crossover design, enabling within subject comparisons. The major findings were: (1) glucose enhanced memory in elderly and, to a lesser extent, in young subjects; and (2) glucose tolerance in individual subjects predicted memory in elderly, but not in young subjects on both glucose and saccharin test days.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Solution, Hypertonic / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology*
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose Solution, Hypertonic