By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

May 19, 2017 -- SPECT images of the brain show that a diet containing omega-3 fatty acids increases cerebral blood flow, which in turn could help individuals retain memory and prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, according to a report published May 18 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The findings build upon previous studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids prompt antiamyloid, anti-tau, and anti-inflammatory actions in the brains of animals. All three conditions have been linked to Alzheimer's-related dementia.

The researchers, led by Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinics in Costa Mesa, CA, obtained SPECT images of 166 subjects while the participants performed various cognitive tasks. They also noted the subjects' Omega-3 Index, a measure of the blood concentration of two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Amen and colleagues found a statistically significant correlation between higher blood flow and higher Omega-3 Index. In addition, when they examined neuropsychological functions, they found that omega-3 levels also correlated with various psychological feelings based on standardized testing.

The findings suggest significant associations between the Omega-3 Index, regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas involved with memory, and the neurocognitive tests, according to the group.


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