Eicosapentaenoic Acid Exerts Protective Effect on Alzheimer’s Dementia Risk

tubes of blood with platelets
tubes of blood with platelets
There was a significant relationship between plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid and Alzheimer disease dementia.
The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AAIC 2018.

CHICAGO — Eicosapentaenoic acid has been shown to have a protective effect on Alzheimer disease dementia (ADD), although docosahexaenoic acid has revealed no such relationship. This research was presented at the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 22-26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

This prospective, multicenter cohort study included 1272 participants without dementia and 67 with ADD, all of whom were at least 75 years of age. There was a significant relationship between plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic acid and ADD (odds ratio [OR] 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.94), as well as between plasma levels of docosahexaenoic acid and ADD (OR 0.64; 95% CI, 0.48-0.86). These findings were adjusted for confounders such as age, apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, body weight, total cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, depression, medication for hyperlipidemia and lipid lowering, sex, education, alpha-tocopherol, hypertension, and transient ischemic attack.

Following full adjustment, current ADD was associated with total polyunsaturated fatty acids, combined docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3, and cumulative Omega 3 fatty acids. In the 7-year follow-up period, 191 individuals without dementia developed ADD. Increased eicosapentaenoic acid plasma levels correlated with decreased risk for ADD (hazard ratio 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69-0.93). Docosahexaenoic acid showed no such association with ADD risk.

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The study researchers conclude that “ changes in diet around dementia onset might affect the bioavailability of fatty acids.”

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van Lent DM, Weinhold L, Wolfsgruber S, et al. Eicosapentanoic acid but not docosahexaenoic acid is associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk in the oldest old. Presented at: 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. July 22-26, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 22855.