The Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Study (MIDAS) published online in March 2010 and in the November print issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association showed that algal DHA improved memory function in healthy aging adults, by giving them memory skills of someone three years younger..
MIDAS is the first large, randomized and placebo-controlled study demonstrating the benefits of algal DHA in maintaining and improving brain health in older adults. The goal of MIDAS was to evaluate the effects of algal DHA on cognitive outcomes in healthy elderly people with a mild memory complaint. The study was funded by Martek Biosciences.
MIDAS found that healthy people over age 55 with memory complaints who took 900 mg algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo,. The DHA was tolerated well and the people taking the DHA also had a lower heart rate, providing a benefit to their heart.
Another study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), conducted by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) group, found that treatment with DHA did not show statistically significant benefit in cognitive function over placebo in a population that already had an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis and was also receiving concomitant prescription therapy. However, the study authors noted that intervention with DHA might have been effective if initiated earlier in the course of the disease in patients who do not have overt dementia. An editorial published in JAMA accompanying the study noted the same, stating that effective treatment strategies to prevent progression of Alzheimer's disease will likely need to be initiated earlier and that the treatment of mild to mo derate AD may be "too late."
Of great interest, the ADCS study demonstrated a significantly