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Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Resting Cerebral Perfusion in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Alteration of cerebral perfusion can be considered as a possible therapeutic target in mild cognitive impairment. This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind proof-of-concept study assessed effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cerebral perfusion in patients with mild cognitive impairment. In thirteen patients (omega:n=5; placebo:n=8) cerebral perfusion was measured before and after 26-weeks intervention within posterior cortical regions using magnetic resonance imaging. There was a medium effect of intervention on cerebral blood flow (η2=0.122) and blood volume (η2=0.098). The omega group showed an increase in blood flow (mean difference: 0.02 [corresponds to 26.1%], 95% confidence interval:0.00-0.05) and blood volume (mean difference: 0.08 [corresponds to 18.5%], 95% confidence interval:0.01-0.15), which was not observed in the placebo group. These preliminary findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids supplementation may improve perfusion in cerebral regions typically affected in mild cognitive impairment.Regulation of perfusion may help to maintain brain structure and function and potentially delay conversion to dementia.

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Correspondence to Claudia Schwarz.

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Schwarz, C., Wirth, M., Gerischer, L. et al. Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Resting Cerebral Perfusion in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Prev Alzheimers Dis 5, 26–30 (2018).

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