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J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;51(3):857-66. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150910.

Associations between Serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels and Cognitive Functions among Community-Dwelling Octogenarians in Okinawa, Japan: The KOCOA Study.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology and Neurology, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
2
Clinical Laboratories, University of the Ryukyus Hospital, Okinawa, Japan.
3
Department of Human Welfare, Okinawa International University, Okinawa, Japan.
4
Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA.
5
Department of Neurology and Layton Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.
6
Department of Neurology and Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Epidemiological studies have found frequent consumption of fatty fish is protective against cognitive decline. However, the association between circulating omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels and cognitive functions among the oldest old is not well known.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the association between serum PUFA levels and cognitive function among community-dwelling, non-demented elderly aged over 80 years old.

METHODS:

The data came from the Keys to Optimal Cognitive Aging (KOCOA) study; an ongoing cohort of relatively healthy volunteers aged over 80 years old, living in Okinawa, Japan. One hundred eighty five participants (mean age 84.1±3.4 years) assessed in 2011 who were free from frank dementia (defined as Clinical Dementia Rating <1.0) were used for the current cross-sectional study. We examined whether serum omega-3 PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), arachidonic acid (AA), EPA/AA ratio, DHA/AA ratio, and DHA+EPA are associated with (1) age and (2) global cognitive function (Japanese MMSE) and executive function (Verbal Fluency Letter). Data was analyzed univariately by t-test and multivariately by cumulative logistic regression models controlling for age, gender, years of education, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia.

RESULTS:

Serum DHA levels decreased with increasing age (p = 0.04). Higher global cognitive function was associated with higher levels of serum EPA (p = 0.03) and DHA + EPA (p = 0.03) after controlling for confounders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher serum EPA and DHA + EPA levels were independently associated with better scores on global cognitive function among the oldest old, free from dementia. Longitudinal follow-up studies are warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive function; DHA; EPA; KOCOA; Okinawa; PUFA; non-demented subjects; oldest old

PMID:
26890763
PMCID:
PMC4816662
DOI:
10.3233/JAD-150910
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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