An article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reveals a decreased rate of cognitive deterioration in Alzheimer’s disease patients who had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.*
The study included 174 men and women with Alzheimer’s disease who were randomized to receive a low-does omega-3 supplement that provided 150 mg EPA and 430 mg DHA per day or a placebo for six months, followed by a six month period during which all participants were supplemented with omega-3. Plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and cognitive performance were assessed at the beginning of the study, and at six and 12 months.
Increasing plasma eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) levels over time were associated with preservation of cognitive function. Associations were significant for word recall and delayed word recall, which are categorized as episodic memory functions.
Editor’s note: “Since our study suggests a dose-response relationship between plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and preservation of cognitive functioning, future omega-3 fatty acid trials in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease should consider exploring graded (and body weight-adjusted) doses of omega-3 fatty acids,” suggest authors Maria Eriksdotter of the Karolinska Institutet and colleagues.
* J Alz Dis. 2015 Sep 4.