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Omega-3 ineffective in slowing Alzheimer's, study says

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The mental and physical decline associated with Alzheimer’s is not slowed by supposed memory boosting pills, a study claims.

The $10m US government-funded research into omega-3 looked at nearly 300 men and women aged around 76 with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

The participants took either DHA oil capsules or dummy pills daily for 18 months.

Researchers found that DHA offered no benefits for slowing Alzheimer’s symptoms.

The pills also offered no benefits among a smaller group with milder symptoms.

People with Alzheimer’s have a lack of DHA - an acid that occurs naturally in the brain.

Previous studies had indicated that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, mostly found in oily fish and supplements, could slow the progress of Alzheimer’s.

The authors said: “There is no basis for recommending DHA supplementation for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Study author and researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, Dr Joseph Quinn, said: “We had high hopes that we’d see some efficacy but we did not.”

The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

 

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Readers' comments (2)

  • On a positive note, an exciting new study adds to the increasing evidence that special anti-inflammatory therapeutics may improve cognition in a variety of brain disorders including Alzheimer’s. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20796174 and http://nrimed.com/pub.html Together these findings suggest that continued investigation of inflammation as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s disease is urgently needed.

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  • TOLD YOU SO!

    I just wish the press would stop publishing these sensationalist articles on medical research and treatments before there is any evidence. They only serve to raise hopes of sufferers only to dash them again. Research is supposed benefit patients but instead the press rakes in big money whilst the needy get nothing out of it. What possible uses does this type of journalism serve?

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