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Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA Supplement Does Not Slow Cognitive Decline In Alzheimer’s Patients

November 2, 2010: 02:48 AM EST

U.S. researchers who tested an algal-derived omega-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA) supplement in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease found that it did not slow the rate of cognitive or functional decline. Earlier studies had found that consumption of fish, the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline or dementia. Some studies had found that consuming DHA, but not other omega-3 fatty acids, was associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer disease. The study was conducted among 295 patients who were randomly assigned to take the DHA supplement or a placebo. Though the researchers concluded that "DHA supplementation is not useful for individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease," they suggested that earlier intervention might be more effective.

Joseph F. Quinn, MD, Rema Raman, PhD;, et al. , "Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer Disease A Randomized Trial", JAMA, November 02, 2010, © American Medical Association
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