The following is from the Dementia Weekly web site. We are not mice! however, Fish Oil is a very inexpensive supplement. Also, and even better - real fish makes a tasty dinner!
Fish oil researchers are making headlines in Quebec and Rhode Island. Read how DHA in fish oil's omega-3 creates an anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective environment in the brain. In more news, learn why fish oil protects brain volume in 2 critical areas utilized in memory & thinking.
Stroke Severity Reduced By Omega-3sA diet rich in omega-3s reduces the severity of brain damage after a stroke, according to a study conducted by Université Laval researchers. The team, co-directed by professors Jasna Kriz and Frédéric Calon, showed that the extent of brain damage following a stroke was reduced by 25% in mice that consumed DHA type omega-3s daily. Details of the study can be found on the website of the journal Stroke.
Researchers observed that the effects of stroke were less severe in mice that had been fed a diet rich in DHA for three months than in mice fed a control diet. In mice from the DHA group, they saw a reduction in the concentrations of molecules that stimulate tissue inflammation and, conversely, a larger quantity of molecules that prevent the activation of cell death.
Frédéric Calon of Université Laval's Faculty of Pharmacy, underscored,
"This is the first convincing demonstration of the powerful anti-inflammatory effect of DHA in the brain."This protective effect results from the substitution of molecules in the neuronal membrane: DHA partially replaces arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid known for its inflammatory properties.
Jasna Kriz, of Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine, summarized,
"The consumption of omega-3s creates an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective environment in the brain that mitigates damage following a stroke. It prevents an acute inflammatory response that, if not controlled, is harmful to brain tissue."
Professor Calon believes that this anti-inflammatory effect is likely transferable to humans. He concluded:
"Since DHA is readily available, inexpensive, and reduces the risk of a number of health problems without causing significant side effects, the risk-benefit ratio tends to favor the regular consumption of fish or DHA."
Fish Oil’s Impact On Cognition And Brain StructureResearchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements. The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging. The results were reported at the recent International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, in Paris, France.
The study was led by Lori Daiello, PharmD, a research scientist at the Rhode Island Hospital Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. Data for the analyses was obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a large multi-center, NIH-funded study that followed older adults with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease for over three years with periodic memory testing and brain MRIs.
The study included 819 individuals, 117 of whom reported regular use of fish oil supplements before entry and during study follow-up. The researchers compared cognitive functioning and brain atrophy for patients who reported routinely using these supplements to those who were not using fish oil supplements.
Daiello reports that compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease known as APOE4. This is consistent with previous research.
The unique finding, however, is that there was a clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume. Consistent with the cognitive outcomes, these observations were significant only for those who were APOE4 negative.
“In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippocampus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study. In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn’t report using them.”Daiello continues, “These observations should motivate further study of the possible effects of long-term fish oil supplementation on important markers of cognitive decline and the potential influence of genetics on these outcomes.”
...like I said. We are not mice, but might be worth trying now and then.
Comments are welcome.