Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DHA improves memory and cognitive function in older adults, study suggests

Date:
November 9, 2010
Source:
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Summary:
Taking docosahexaenoic acid may improve memory and learning in older adults with mild cognitive impairments. This is promising news for many aging Americans who are searching for options to maintain memory and support overall cognitive health.

A study published in the November edition of Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association suggests that taking docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may improve memory and learning in older adults with mild cognitive impairments. This is promising news for many aging Americans who are searching for options to maintain memory and support overall cognitive health.

Related Articles


The "Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic Acid Study" (MIDAS) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the effects of DHA -- the principle omega-3 fatty acid in the brain -- on improving cognitive functions in healthy older adults with age-related cognitive decline. The study found that DHA taken for six months improved memory and learning in healthy, older adults with mild memory complaints.

"The results of this study are very encouraging for those consumers concerned about maintaining memory. We know that lower DHA levels are associated with cognitive decline in healthy elderly and Alzheimer's patients, and higher DHA levels help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease," said Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). "Memory loss, dementia and the development of Alzheimer's disease are prominent health concerns for older individuals. The more we learn about the valuable role DHA plays in supporting brain function, the more options aging Americans have towards managing cognitive decline."

These findings underscore the importance of early DHA intervention. While the MIDAS study focused on a population of healthy adults with age-associated memory impairment, a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), conducted in a population that had previously been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, did not indicate DHA provided a statistically significant benefit to cognitive function. The lead author of the JAMA study also highlighted that their results may have been different had DHA been administered before the participants' disease progressed.

"This study reinforces the principle that consumers will reap the most benefit from their DHA supplements -- and many supplements -- when they are taken over time and before a health concern is imminent," continued Dr. MacKay. "When included as a part of a proactive health regimen that includes a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity and routine visits with a healthcare professional, dietary supplements offer an important tool to help support many systems in the body, including memory and cognitive function."

The MIDAS study was conducted in a total of 485 subjects, aged 55 and older with a subjective memory complaint and who met criteria for age-related cognitive decline (or "age-associated memory impairment"). Subjects were randomly assigned 900 mg/d of algal DHA orally or a placebo for 24 weeks.

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and is available as a dietary supplement. Many Americans turn to dietary supplements each year help manage age-related challenges. According to CRN's Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, among Americans aged 55+ who take supplements, 13 percent report they do so for "memory" and 39 percent for "healthy aging."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Council for Responsible Nutrition. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Karin Yurko-Mauro, Deanna McCarthy, Dror Rom, Edward B. Nelson, Alan S. Ryan, Andrew Blackwell, Norman Salem Jr., Mary Stedman. Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline. Alzheimer's and Dementia, 2010; 6 (6): 456 DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2010.01.013
  2. J. F. Quinn, R. Raman, R. G. Thomas, K. Yurko-Mauro, E. B. Nelson, C. Van Dyck, J. E. Galvin, J. Emond, C. R. Jack, M. Weiner, L. Shinto, P. S. Aisen. Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer Disease: A Randomized Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010; 304 (17): 1903 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.1510

Cite This Page:

Council for Responsible Nutrition. "DHA improves memory and cognitive function in older adults, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108151346.htm>.
Council for Responsible Nutrition. (2010, November 9). DHA improves memory and cognitive function in older adults, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108151346.htm
Council for Responsible Nutrition. "DHA improves memory and cognitive function in older adults, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108151346.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins