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Lifespan brain development and cognitive function: From human milk to healthy foods


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Lisa M. Renzi-Hammond


Speaker: Lisa M. Renzi-Hammond, Ph.D.

The general truism “structure dictates function" is well understood when referring to how the structure of a molecule impacts its function in human tissues. Yet, a number of healthcare providers report a lack of knowledge of how a given nutrient or bioactive (with its own structure) can impact the function of body tissues in a way that is meaningful for human health. This lack of knowledge leads to a lack of confidence in making dietary recommendations for foods that can provide these molecules. In this presentation, three types of molecules (DHA, a fatty acid; lutein, a carotenoid; and RRR-alpha-tocopherol) will be examined for their impact on structure and, consequently, function of the human brain. The presentation will begin with dietary sources for these nutritional molecules, identify how the source of the molecule may impact its structure, and present data on how changing dietary recommendations for foods that contain these key molecules can improve brain health and cognitive function, across the lifespan.Normal Body text: description, etc.

Learning Outcomes

Following this presentation, participants should be able to:

  1. Differentiate between food sources of DHA and other key nutrients for brain development and synthetic sources, including formulas and commercial supplements.
  2. Describe the ways in which DHA and other nutrients commonly found in brain, human milk and nutritional foods work synergistically to improve cognitive function.
  3. Discuss the lifespan benefits of early life intake of human milk, followed by nutritious complimentary foods

About the Speaker

Dr. Lisa Renzi-Hammond earned her B.S., M.S. and doctorate degrees in from the Psychology Department at the University of Georgia. While at the University of Georgia, Dr. Renzi-Hammond specialized in visual neuroscience and neurological development and studied the ways in which implementing behavioral changes influences vision system function, as well as risk for acquired neurological diseases.

Dr. Renzi-Hammond completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin and combined her neuroscience and perceptual science training with nutrition science by spanning three different disciplinary groups at Texas: the Center for Perceptual Systems, the Institute for Neuroscience, and the Nutrition Sciences Department. Dr. Renzi-Hammond also served as a visiting scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, MA, where she was a member of the Carotenoids in Health Laboratory.

Following her graduate and post-graduate training, Dr. Renzi-Hammond returned to the University of Georgia as faculty, where she founded the Human Biofactors Laboratory and published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the topic of carotenoids and visual and neurological function. She has presented this research in a wide variety of national and international venues. She has also worked in industry settings as a clinical manager, where she set vision and strategy for the Adult Clinical Nutrition scientific platform at Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Renzi-Hammond is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior at the UGA College of Public Health, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program in the UGA Department of Psychology.

** Original Source: "CNS Education Webinars" Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Length: 59:02

Type: File

Last Updated: January 22, 2020

Name Type
Renzi-Hammond_Lifespan brain development and cognitive function File
Lifespan brain development and cognitive function: From human milk to healthy foods Video
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