Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor



BACKGROUND: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease with the clinical presentation of memory loss and cognitive impairment. Alzheimer's disease pathology is the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

METHOD: In this study atherogenic diet was used to induce AD in aged Brown Norway rats. The rats were assigned to the following four groups fed isocaloric diets; control group (C ),high cholesterol diet (H), high cholesterol + oil palm phenolics group (HP), high cholesterol + curcumin group (HC). The impact of oil palm phenolics (OPP) on neuronal health and its effect on amyloid deposition was evaluated using histology and ELISA. The cognitive ability of the rats were tested using Morris water maze.

RESULTS: Our model was successful in facilitating the formation of extracellular beta amyloid plaques and causing neuronal loss. Histological findings revealed better neuronal health in the group of rats offered OPP in their diets compared to the high cholesterol only fed rats. The Morris water maze test showed better learning and cognition in rats fed the OPP diet.

CONCLUSION: OPP provided neuronal protection and decreased the deposition of beta amyloid plaques in the hippocampus of the rats.