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from trials of DHA in Alzheimer's Disease
and Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Results from two large studies using DHA, an
omega 3 fatty acid, were reported at the
Alzheimer's Association 2009 International
Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD
2009) in Vienna.
One of the trials was conducted by the
Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS)
supported by the U.S. National Institute on
Aging (NIA), and the second by Martek
The NIA trial lasted 18 months and was
conducted in people with mild to moderate
Martek's trial was six months, and was
conducted in healthy people to see its
effect on "age related cognitive decline"
Both studies used Martek's algal DHA.
The results of the ADCS trial show no
evidence for benefit in the studied
The Martek trial showed a positive result on
one test of memory and learning, but that
study was in healthy older adults with mild
memory complaint, not people with
Alzheimer's or another dementia. The results
"These two studies - and other recent
Alzheimer's therapy trials - raise the
possibility that treatments for Alzheimer's
must be given very early in the disease for
them to be truly effective," said William
Thies, PhD, Chief Medical & Scientific
Officer at the Alzheimer's Association.
"For that to happen, we need to get much
better at early detection and diagnosis of
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is the most
abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain.
Previous animal studies and epidemiology in
humans suggested that DHA may be beneficial
in people with Alzheimer's.