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Docosahexaenoic acid homeostasis, brain aging and Alzheimer's disease: Can we reconcile the evidence?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22575581     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
A crossroads has been reached on research into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). On the one hand, several prospective observational studies now clearly indicate a protective effect of higher fish and DHA intake against risk of AD. On the other hand, once AD is clinically evident, supplementation trials demonstrate essentially no benefit of DHA in AD. Despite apparently low DHA intake in AD, brain DHA levels are frequently the same as in controls, suggesting that low DHA intake results in low plasma DHA but does not necessarily reduce brain DHA in humans. Animal models involving dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency to deplete brain DHA may therefore not be appropriate in AD research. Studies in the healthy elderly suggest that DHA homeostasis changes during aging. Tracer methodology now permits estimation of DHA half-life in the human brain and whole body. Apolipoprotein E alleles have an important impact not only on AD but also on DHA homeostasis in humans. We therefore encourage further development of innovative approaches to the study of DHA metabolism and its role in human brain function. A better understanding of DHA metabolism in humans will hopefully help explain how higher habitual DHA intake protects against the risk of deteriorating cognition during aging and may eventually give rise to a breakthrough in the treatment of AD.
Authors:
Stephen C Cunnane; Raphael Chouinard-Watkins; Christian A Castellano; Pascale Barberger-Gateau
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-5-8
Journal Detail:
Title:  Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1532-2823     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-5-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8802730     Medline TA:  Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Research Center on Aging, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada; Departments of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada; Physiology and Biophysics, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
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