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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015 Jan;92:15-22. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2014.10.003. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

The benefit of docosahexaenoic acid for the adult brain in aging and dementia.

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Nutritional Lipids, DSM Nutritional Products, Columbia, MD, USA. Electronic address:
Center de recherche du center Hospitalier de l׳Université Laval (CHUL), Québec, QC, Canada; Faculté de pharmacie, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada; Institut des Nutraceutiques et des Aliments Fonctionnels, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada.


A brief overview of the evidence for omega-3 fatty acids and, in particular, of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), involvement in cognition and in dementia is given. Two studies are presented in this regard in which the key intervention is a DHA supplement. The fist, the MIDAS Study demonstrated that DHA can be of benefit for episodic memory in healthy adults with a mild memory complaint. The second, the ADCS AD trial found no benefit of DHA in the primary outcomes but found an intriguing benefit for cognitive score in ApoE4 negative allele patients. This leads to a consideration of the mechanisms of action and role of ApoE and its modulation by DHA. Given the fundamental role of ApoE in cellular lipid transport and metabolism in the brain and periphery, it is no surprise that ApoE affects n-3 PUFA brain function as well. It remains to be seen to what extent ApoE4 deleterious effect in AD is associated with n-3 PUFA-related cellular mechanisms in the brain and, more specifically, whether ApoE4 directly impairs the transport of DHA into the brain, as has been suggested.


Aging; Alzheimer׳s Disease; ApoE; Cognition; Dementia; Docosahexaenoic acid

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