Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the principle omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, and previous studies have suggested an inverse correlation between higher DHA intake and the relative risk of Alzheimer's disease. Investigators with the "Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic Acid Study" (MIDAS) evaluated the effects of DHA on improving cognitive functions in healthy older adults with age-related cognitive decline. Involving 485 subjects, ages 55 and older, with a subjective memory complaint and who met criteria for age-related cognitive decline, the MIDAS researchers assigned subjects to either receive 900 mg/day of DHA orally, or a placebo, for 24 weeks. The team found that subjects who took DHA displayed improved memory and learning skills. The researchers conclude that: “Supplementation with … DHA improved learning and memory function in [age-related cognitive decline] and is a beneficial supplement that supports cognitive health with aging.”
Karin Yurko-Mauro, Deanna McCarthy, Dror Rom, Edward B. Nelson, Alan S. Ryan, Andrew Blackwell, Norman Salem, Mary Stedman, on behalf of the MIDAS Investigators. “Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline.” Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, November 2010, Vol. 6, Issue 6, Pages 456-464.
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