Why do essential fatty acids seem to help Alzheimer’s patients? Is food as medicine for Alzheimers here?
174 patients with mild, moderate and severe disease completed the year-long study. They took, daily, 1720 mg DHA, 600 mg EPA or placebo (corn oil with 0.6 g linoleic acid) for 6 months; and then all took omega-3s for 6 months more.
Differing capsules of omega-3 differ in DHA/EPA concentration: only fish oil has much of each.
Bad news: no real difference for most patients. Good news: in patients with the mildest disease, episodic memory improved.
This was not a perfect study. And the results are encouraging only for those who may be at risk for Alzheimers. Maybe inflammation is too far along in people who are severely demented. Maybe other environmental and medical changes are more important.
But for those with just-beginning-where-did-I-put-my-keys short term memory problems, fish oil is also now available by prescription. And worth taking.