Omega-3s may sharpen elderly memories

New research showed “significant improvement” in the minds of subjects after a daily dose of DHA.

New research suggests omega-3s may help sharpen the mind of elderly people who feel they’re losing their memory.

The Israeli study, published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, and noted on, evaluated the effects of 100 mg a day of phosphatidylserine enriched with docasahexaenoic acid (PS-DHA) on the cognitive performance in elderly individuals who complained of decreasing memory, but who did not suffer from dementia. The 15-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 131 people.

People were recruited for the study through advertisements in senior citizens homes, hospitals and newspapers. Apparently, the language was softened from the article’s title, “Phosphatidylserine Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Memory Abilities in Nondemented Elderly Individuals with Memory Complaints,” as flyers and newspaper ads seeking “non-demented, cranky seniors” might have attracted all sorts.

Subjects who took the PS-DHA “showed a significant improvement in memory (immediate recall),” wrote the study’s authors. Further analysis suggested that participants with a relatively good cognitive performance at baseline responded better to the treatment.

The findings of this study add to the accumulating data that support the positive effect of PS-containing omega-3 fatty acids on cognitive performance, write the study’s authors. They note that in previous studies, administration of 200–300 mg/day of PS containing omega-3 fatty acids was found to have beneficial effects, purely symptomatic or neuroprotective, on various types of cognitive impairment, ranging from age-associated cognitive decline to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Non-demented” seniors aren’t the only ones who might benefit from DHA. A study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that younger women may be smarter, and men faster, after DHA supplementation.

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