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Omega-3 and cognitive function: Wait a minute!

July 29, 2017

This is the Medscape Neurology Minute. I’m Dr Alan Jacobs.

Researchers from the Amen Clinic in California and the University of South Dakota School of Medicine have published a study relating omega-3 fatty acid blood levels, SPECT perfusion scanning, and memory and cognition.[1]

They used a random sample of 166 individuals from a psychiatric referral clinic.

They measured the omega-3 index, which includes serum concentrations of EPA and DHA, and divided the group into those with > 50th percentile levels and those with < 50th percentile levels.

Both groups received quantitative brain SPECT scans on 128 cortical regions and completed a battery of computerized cognitive testing.

Their results showed a statistically significant relationship between omega-3 EPA + DHA status, hippocampal brain perfusion, and scoring on memory testing.

The researchers concluded that this positive relationship means that relatively simple dietary changes could favorably impact cognitive functioning.

This has been the Medscape Neurology Minute. I’m Dr Alan Jacobs.


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