New research findings indicate that an early onset of dietary treatment may slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The study was conducted on mice, and the results will be published in the February issue of Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland played a key role in the study, which was carried out as part of the LiPiDiDiet project funded by the European Union.
According to current understanding, Alzheimer's disease develops slowly and it may take up to 20 years before the first obvious symptoms occur. With the development of early diagnostics of the disease, the question of which treatments to offer to completely healthy people with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's becomes of key importance in the field of medicine. Various dietary treatments seem a promising alternative.
Several epidemiological studies suggest that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish, might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Experimental studies have also observed a positive although modest association between DHA and several processes behind Alzheimer's disease. This recently published study investigated whether the efficacy of DHA treatment can be enhanced by additional nutrients.
The study used transgenic female mice carrying APP and PS1 mutations linked with familial Alzheimer's disease, and wild-type mice. All the mice began the dietary intervention at 5 months and continued on the diet until 13 months old. The fat content of the control chow was increased to better correspond to human diets. In addition to the control chow, some of the APP/PS1 mice were fed three experimental chows enriched with fish oil and having a similar fat content as the control chow: fish oil supplement only, plant sterol supplement or Fortasyn supplement, which contains uridine-monophosphate, phospholipids, B- vitamins, and antioxidants.
As expected, APP/PS1
|Contact: Heikki Tanila|
University of Eastern Finland