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The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 988–993 | Cite as

Cognitive changes with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in non-demented older adults with low omega-3 index

  • Claudie Hooper
  • P. de Souto Barreto
  • N. Coley
  • C. Cantet
  • M. Cesari
  • S. Andrieu
  • B. Vellas
  • MAPT/DSA Study Group
Article

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate the changes in specific domains of cognitive function in older adults reporting subjective memory complaints with a low omega-3 index receiving omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplementation or placebo.

Design

This is a secondary exploratory analysis of the Multidomain Alzheimer Preventive Trial (MAPT) using subjects randomized to the n-3 PUFA supplementation or placebo group.

Setting

French community dwellers aged 70 or over reporting subjective memory complaints, but free from clinical dementia.

Participants

A subgroup of MAPT subjects in the lowest quartile of omega-3 index distribution with baseline values ≤ 4.83 % (n = 183).

Intervention

The n-3 PUFA supplementation group consumed a daily dose of DHA (800 mg) and EPA (a maximum amount of 225 mg) for 3 years. The placebo group received identical capsules comprising liquid paraffin oil.

Measurements

Linear mixed-model repeated-measures analyses were used including baseline, 6, 12, 24 and 36-month follow-up data to assess between-group differences in the change in eight cognitive tests over 36 months.

Results

There was less decline on the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) in the n-3 PUFA supplementation group compared to placebo (p = 0.009; between group mean difference over 36 months, 2.3; 95% CI, 0.6,4.0). No significant differences for any of the other cognitive tests were found, including other tests of executive functioning, although, numerically all results were in favour of the n-3 PUFA supplementation.

Conclusions

We found some evidence that n-3 PUFAs might be beneficial for the maintenance of executive functioning in older adults at risk of dementia with low omega-3 index, but this exploratory finding requires further confirmation. A larger specifically designed randomised controlled trial could be merited.

Key words

Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids executive functioning cognition 

Abbreviations

AD

Alzheimer’s disease

ApoE

apolipoprotein E

β- amyloid

CDR

clinical dementia rating

CDR-SB

clinical dementia rating sum of boxes

COWAT

Controlled Oral Word Association Test

DHA

docosahexaenoic acid

DSST

Digit Symbol Substitution Test

EPA

eicosapentaenoic acid

FAME

Fatty acid methyl esters

FCSRT

Free and Cued Selective Reminding test

PUFAs

polyunsaturated fatty acids

MAPT

Multidomain Alzheimer Preventive Trial

MCI

mild cognitive impairment

MMSE

Mini Mental State Examination

n-3

omega 3

RCT

randomised controlled trial

TMT

Trail Making Test

WAIS-R

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised

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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudie Hooper
    • 1
  • P. de Souto Barreto
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Coley
    • 2
    • 3
  • C. Cantet
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Cesari
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Andrieu
    • 2
    • 3
  • B. Vellas
    • 1
    • 2
  • MAPT/DSA Study Group
  1. 1.Gérontopôle, Department of GeriatricsCHU Toulouse, Purpan University HospitalToulouseFrance
  2. 2.UMR1027Université de Toulouse, UPS, INSERMToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthCHU ToulouseToulouseFrance

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