New rodent research adds to the growing pile of science suggesting the power of omega-3s to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
One out of nine Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Today, 5.3 million Americans live with the disease, a figure that’s expected to skyrocket when the first wave of baby boomers hit age 85.
In patients with Alzheimer’s, the brain’s ability to send messages between cells via neurotransmitters deteriorates. Previous studies have suggested omega-3 fatty acids may help slow this decline. This new rodent-based study supports those findings, and suggests that a diet rich in omegas does not take long to help an ailing brain.
In the study, scientists from the Institute of Physiology CAS in the Czech Republic tested several lipid-based diets aimed at slowing down the progression and relieving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, according to a post about the research in the Deccan Chronicle.
They found that after just three weeks, diets rich in fish oil did not merely slow the decrease in brain synapse speed, they actually reversed it.
The findings provide important proof-of-principle evidence that regular intake of specific dietary components may help to prevent some of the key early functional changes that take place in the Alzheimer brain, the researchers wrote. The results were published in the journal Current Alzheimer Research.