Fish oil has been found to potentially lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improve blood vessel function. Due to these effects, some believe it might also help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study led by Dr. Cynthia Carlsson at UW Health and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital seeks to examine if veterans with a parental history of Alzheimer’s disease might be positively affected by a prescription high dose of fish oil, specifically, a high dose of a purified form of EPA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and shellfish. DHA, another type of omega-3 fatty acid in some fish oil pills, was found to not improve cognition through a recent study of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The study aims to enroll 150 veterans aged 50-75, with normal memory and a parental history of Alzheimer’s disease. Study participants must also be eligible for VA services. Over an 18-month period, participants will undergo three rounds of MRI brain scans, cerebrospinal fluid collection through lumbar puncture,, and cognitive tests. Researchers will then look for changes in blood flow in the brain, the presence of indicators of Alzheimer’s disease in the cerobrospinal fluid, and changes in memory.
“UW, VA study looks at fish oil to prevent Alzheimer's disease” appeared in the December 9, 2017, issue of the Wisconsin State Journal and is available online.