Testing the Effects of Dietary Lecithin on Memory in the Elderly: An Example of Social Work/ Medical Research Collaboration

Florence Safford, Bernard Baumel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


A sample of 61 healthy volunteers (mean age = 65 years) participated in a study of the effect of lecithin on memory conducted by a gerontological social worker in collaboration with a physician specializing in neurological research. Forty-one subjects ingested 2 tablespoons of lecithin for 5 weeks whereas a control group of 20 subjects ingested a placebo for the same length of time. Memory function was established through a brief memory test and from a diary of memory lapses kept by the subject for 7 days prior to the experimental period and repeated during the 5th week. Analysis of the data found a significant improvement on memory test scores for the experimental group, which exceeded those obtained by the placebo group subjects. Participants receiving lecithin reported fewer memory lapses posttreatment than did the placebo subjects. Replication of the research with larger samples as well as an investigation of long-term effects, are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-358
Number of pages10
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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