Navigation Links
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Falls Short in Alzheimer's Trials

No significant benefits seen with DHA, either in terms of prevention or treatment

SUNDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Two trials that looked at whether the omega-3 fatty acid DHA might treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease have produced mixed results.

The studies were done because of "a long history of epidemiological studies that related fish consumption to cognitive function," explained Bill Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association. Fish is rich in DHA, but the research scheduled to be presented Sunday at the association's annual meeting in Vienna, Austria, used DHA derived from algae.

An 18-month study of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease "did not show treatment benefit in the study population as a whole, and does not support use of DHA for treatment of Alzheimer's disease," said study author Dr. Joseph Quinn, an associate professor of neurology at Oregon Health and Science University.

However, Quinn added that there was "an encouraging analysis of a subpopulation of the larger study," showing a slower rate of decline in mental function among those who did not have the e4 version of the APOE gene. That version is known to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of people have that gene version, Quinn estimated.

Still, "we're not prepared to conclude that e4-negative people should be on DHA," Quinn said. "We don't know a mechanism that would account for a benefit in e4-negative people and we don't know if our exploratory analysis would be confirmed in future trials."

His study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, included 402 people, average age 76, with a daily dietary intake of less than 200 milligrams a day. Some took 2,000-milligram DHA supplements while others took a placebo. All underwent standard tests of mental function over the 18-month trial. The slower rate of decline seen in e4-deficient participants did not reach statistical significance.

The second study was a six-month trial of 900 milligrams a day of DHA in 485 people, average age 70, who did not have Alzheimer's disease but had mild complaints about memory loss. Those taking the supplement made fewer errors on one memory test.

That trial was funded by the Martek Biosciences Corp., which markets the DHA used in both studies.

The results indicate that DHA supplements are appropriate for "people who have very mild memory complaints, which applies to a large percentage of the population at this age," said Karin Yurko-Mauro, associate director of clinical research at Martek Biosciences. "We're not talking about a disease stage here."

The company is "looking at the potential for more trials," but is still evaluating data from the completed study, Yurko-Mauro said.

"The results are certainly interesting," Thies said. "There was some improvement in memory. Then you can get into a debate about what the real-world benefit would be of that improvement in memory."

What is needed, Thies said, is a major trial for people with no Alzheimer's disease but some memory problems. "DHA is a great candidate for such a trial because it is a food supplement that is currently available," he said.

Meanwhile, Thies said, "it is too early" to make a recommendation about use of DHA supplements to prevent loss of mental function. "You would want to see more information in normal people before you make a recommendation," Thies said. "In high doses, DHA does have side effects, so you would want to see a benefit to justify the risk you are taking. We need more work for that."

More information

The latest information on Alzheimer's disease is available from the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Bill Thies, Ph.D., chief medical and scientific officer, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Joseph Quinn, M.D., associate professor, neurology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland; Karin Yurko-Mauro, Ph.D., associate director, clinical research, Martek Biosciences Corp., Columbia, Md.; July 12, 2009, Alzheimer's Association annual meeting, Vienna, Austria

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Omega-3s Benefit Heart Attack Survivors, Healthy Adults, Mothers and Infants
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency takes 96,000 Lives Annually in the US
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Key to Fetal Development - Possible Mercury Contamination Concerns in Some Fish Oil Avoided With Plant-based DHA in PreNexa(R) Prenatal Vitamins
4. Nordic Omega-3 Fishies from Nordic Naturals Offers Quality EPA and DHA for Children with Kid Pleasin Taste
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Might Curb Depression in Heart Patients
6. Omega-3 EPA: Treatment for a Heart Condition
7. Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit cancer patients undergoing major operations
8. Omega-3 EPA/DHA May Decrease Risk of Developing Prostate Cancer
9. Omega-3s May Benefit Newborns, Menopausal Women and Obese Individuals
10. Omega-3s of No Added Benefit to Heart Attack Patients
11. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Guard Against Advanced Prostate Cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Falls Short in Alzheimer's Trials
(Date:11/26/2015)... ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using ... BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., ... the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by ... through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... As part of a global movement ... volunteers together who want to combine talents and resources to help create sustainable ... process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on November 6, 2015 at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. John Pierce, Medical ... more about hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy cap. FDA cleared ... thicker and fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, or topical foams. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Lakeview Health, a Jacksonville-based drug and ... sobriety and show through pictures what a positive difference it makes. The social ... the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Short stories ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  ARKRAY USA , Inc., ... evidence demonstrating the accuracy of its blood glucose meter ... Resistance, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Los ... GLUCOCARD ® 01 meter and the Assure ® ... ability to accurately measure glucose levels in blood is ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) ... New York State Attorney General,s Office ... Act, and other statutes with the Attorney General over the ... cease marketing and selling the now generic version of memantine ... no liability, has released its counterclaims against New ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: ... Rugen Therapeutics, a start-up  biotechnology company focused on ... disorders and funded by the F-Prime Biomedical Research ... into an exclusive collaboration to support the discovery ... Disorders (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive disorders (OCD). ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: