Peanut Cognition Study Participants Needed

Thank you for your interest in the Peanut Cognition Study. This study will test the health benefits of Peanuts, especially on cognition and brain function. The primary goal of this study is to determine whether eating peanuts daily for 12 weeks can enhance brain and cognitive functions in older adults.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the study?

Investigators are looking for elderly men and women who are 60- 80 years of age, with self-reported memory complaints, living close to Loma Linda area, and can commute to the Nutrition Research Center in Loma Linda University. Volunteers must not be sensitive or allergic to nuts. If you have any severe kidney or liver disease or neurodegenerative diseases (like dementia) or psychological disease (like depression), you may not be eligible for the study. If you are unable to go through a functional MRI that will also make you ineligible for the study

What is expected of participants?

Participants must be willing to commit for a duration of 12 weeks. During this time, participants are expected to attend all scheduled meetings and visits (expected to be around 4 clinics, with possibly two visits for two of the clinic visits). Participants must be equally willing to consume peanuts or abstain from eating them based on which group they are randomly assigned to while continuing their usual diet and other routines or lifestyle habits.  Participants will be asked to restrict the consumption of other nuts for the duration of the study. Participants should also be willing to go through a functional MRI and a battery of cognitive tests twice during the study.

How can I participate?

You can let us know if you are interested in the study by any of the following 3 ways:

  1. Fill out the screening form.
  2. Send us an email to
  3. Call us at 909-558-8382

How long will the study last?

The study will last for 12 weeks (3 months) from the start to finish. Participants are expected to visit the clinic 4 times during the study (about once a month). For the baseline clinic and week 12 clinic, you will have to come twice, once to get the functional MRI and once to get cognitive testing and blood draw. At these visits, peanuts (if you are in the active group) will be provided, body measurements including height, weight and body composition will be taken.  Participants will also be completing some questionnaires. During 2 of these visits, blood samples will be collected from all participants, functional MRI and a battery of cognitive test will be conducted.

Will it cost me anything?

There is NO cost to the participants for any of the study-associated intervention or tests. In fact, as an incentive, participants will receive the results of their body composition assessment, which will be performed by a state-of-the-art body impendence analyzer. Participants will also receive the results from their cognition tests at the end of the study. In addition, participants will receive $200 as a compensation at the end of the study, upon successful completion of all study protocols.  

Required Dates

Dates will be provided soon.

Who is conducting the study?

This study is one of the many dietary studies conducted by a team of nutrition researchers at Loma Linda University. The protocol of Peanut Cognition Study is approved by Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is the independent committee of physicians and public health professionals, to make sure that there is no harm toward participants and possible benefits, not only for participants, but also for others in the future.

Sujatha Rajaram, PhD

Sujatha Rajaram, PhD


Dr. Sujatha Rajaram, is a Professor of Nutrition at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She is a Co-Investigator for the Mango Cardiometabolic Study. She has contributed significantly to the research activities at the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention. She has served as both principal investigator and co-investigator on several clinical trials, specifically feeding studies on tree nuts, and plant omega-3 fatty acids with respect to cardiometabolic disease outcomes and healthy aging.

Samuel Barnes

Samuel Barnes


Samuel Barnes is a medical physicist, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology, and Director, Center for Imaging Research at LLUH. His research has focused largely on neuro-imaging MRI techniques such as examining the role of blood-brain barrier dysfunction on cognitive decline using dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI. He has recently received a pilot grant to investigate the association between n-3 PUFA, cognition and blood-brain barrier integrity.

Gabriela Chiriac

Gabriela Chiriac


Gabriela Chiriac is a first year student in the Nutrition PhD program at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She is also a Registered Dietitian and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida. Her main interest is in biochemistry and nutrition research.

Amandeep Wright, MPH

Amandeep Wright, MPH

Research Manager

Amandeep Kaur is a Research Manager at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She did her Master’s in Public Health at SPH. She has been working with the PI of the Mango Cardiovascular Study and the nutrition research team for the past five years. She has expertise in coordinating and managing the conduct of clinical trials. She has been involved with larger clinical trials like the Habitual Diet and Avocado Trail, which was a multi-center trial (UCLA, Tufts University, Penn State and Loma Linda University) with over a 1000 participants .She was the main coordinator for the Loma Linda site during the trial. Her role in Mango Cardiovascular Study will include among other things, the coordination of recruitment and selection of participants, clinic visits, and data collection and management.

Dr. Grace Lee

Dr. Grace Lee


Dr. Grace Lee is a clinical neuropsychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Loma Linda University (LLU). After earning her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Dr. Lee completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Neuropsychology of Aging at the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Neurology. During that time, her research and clinical training focused on studying cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Since coming to LLU, Dr. Lee has expanded her research interests to explore the role of diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors in reducing the risk of cognitive decline associated with normal aging and neurodegenerative disease.

Rawiwan Sirirat, DrPH

Rawiwan Sirirat, DrPH

Research Associate

Dr. Rawiwan Sirirat is a research associate at Nutrition Research Center. She is a Registered Dietitian with doctoral degree of public health in Nutrition. Her main interest is in nutrition epidemiology. Dr. Sirirat has accumulated research experience over the years via multiple clinical trials as well as a large cohort study. Her experiences include nutrition data collections, quality control of the data as well as nutrition data management. She is also well acquainted with laboratory analyses of nutrition biomarkers, bio specimen processing and handling. She will be primarily involved in data and bio specimen collection and handling in this study.