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Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Dec;26 Suppl 1:133-6. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Prevention of Alzheimer's disease: Omega-3 fatty acid and phenolic anti-oxidant interventions.

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  • 1Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Sepulveda, CA 91343, USA.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are syndromes of aging that share analogous lesions and risk factors, involving lipoproteins, oxidative damage and inflammation. Unlike in CVD, in AD, sensitive biomarkers are unknown, and high-risk groups are understudied. To identify potential prevention strategies in AD, we have focused on pre-clinical models (transgenic and amyloid infusion models), testing dietary/lifestyle factors strongly implicated in reducing risk in epidemiological studies. Initially, we reported the impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), notably ibuprofen, which reduced amyloid accumulation, but suppressed few inflammatory markers and without reducing oxidative damage. Safety concerns with chronic NSAIDs led to a screen of alternative NSAIDs and identification of the phenolic anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant compound curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric that we found targeted multiple AD pathogenic cascades. The dietary omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also limited amyloid, oxidative damage and synaptic and cognitive deficits in a transgenic mouse model. Both DHA and curcumin have favorable safety profiles, epidemiology and efficacy, and may exert general anti-aging benefits (anti-cancer and cardioprotective.).

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