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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Wierenga CE, Hays CC, Zlatar ZZ. Cerebral blood flow measured by arterial spin labeling MRI as a preclinical marker of alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2014;42:411–419.
Lacalle-Aurioles M, Mateos-Pérez JM, Guzmán-De-Villoria J a, et al. Cerebral blood flow is an earlier indicator of perfusion abnormalities than cerebral blood volume in Alzheimer’s disease. J CBF Metab. 2014;34(4):654–659.
Wirth M, Pichet Binette A, Brunecker P, Köbe T, Witte AV, Flöel A. Divergent regional patterns of cerebral hypoperfusion and gray matter atrophy in mild cognitive impairment patients. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016.
Borroni B, Anchisi D, Paghera B, et al. Combined 99mTc-ECD SPECT and neuropsychological studies in MCI for the assessment of conversion to AD. Neurobiol Aging. 2006;27(1):24–31.
Haast RAM, Kiliaan AJ. Impact of fatty acids on brain circulation, structure and function. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015;92:3–14.
Tsukada H, Kakiuchi T, Fukumoto D, Nishiyama S, Koga K. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves the age-related impairment of the coupling mechanism between neuronal activation and functional cerebral blood flow response: A PET study in conscious monkeys. Brain Res. 2000;862(1–2):180–186.
Hooijmans CR, Van der Zee CEEM, Dederen PJ, et al. DHA and cholesterol containing diets influence Alzheimer-like pathology, cognition and cerebral vasculature in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. Neurobiol Dis. 2009;33(3):482–498.
Zerbi V, Jansen D, Wiesmann M, et al. Multinutrient diets improve cerebral perfusion and neuroprotection in a murine model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2014;35(3):600–613.
Jackson PA, Reay JL, Scholey AB, Kennedy DO. Docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil modulates the cerebral hemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults. Biol Psychol. 2012;89(1):183–190.
Umhau JC, Zhou W, Carson RE, et al. Imaging incorporation of circulating docosahexaenoic acid into the human brain using positron emission tomography. J Lipid Res. 2009;50(7):1259–1268.
Köbe T, Witte AV, Schnelle A, et al. Combined omega-3 fatty acids, aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation prevents decline in gray matter volume of the frontal, Parietal and cingulate cortex in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Neuroimage. 2016;131:226–238.
Wuerfel J, Bellmann-Strobl J, Brunecker P, et al. Changes in cerebral perfusion precede plaque formation in multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal perfusion MRI study. Brain. 2004;127(1):111–119.
Ebinger M, Brunecker P, Jungehülsing GJ, et al. Reliable perfusion maps in stroke MRI using arterial input functions derived from distal middle cerebral artery branches. Stroke. 2010;41(1):95–101.
Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). 1988. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates. Hillsdale, NJ, 20–26.
Austin BP, Nair VA, Meier TB, et al. Effects of hypoperfusion in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2011;26(s3):123–133.
About this article
Cite this article
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). https://doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2017.23