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.