Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

How Fish Oil Supplements Can Impact Your Brain Health

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There is nothing more important than good health. That includes both your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, serious brain diseases can impact your ability to retain information and live independently. Some of the most troubling diseases are Alzheimer's disease and dementia - which affect millions of lives all over the world. The good news? There may be something you can do to improve brain health. A study was recently published in the online edition of Alzheimer's & Dementia. They found that taking fish oil supplements (or FOS) could reduce cognitive decline and brain atrophy in older adult and senior citizens.

According to the Alzheimer's & Dementia study, something as simple as taking a fish oil supplement could make all the difference. The study looked at the relationship between fish oil supplements and cognitive decline. It has links to the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). (The initiative is notable, as it has been focusing on the use of "blood tests, tests of cerebrospinal fluid, and MRI/PET imaging for Alzheimer's disease clinical trials and diagnosis.")

In the study itself, older adults were assessed with microphysical tests and MRI's every six months. 229 of the participants had normal brain health, while 397 had mild cognitive impairment, and 193 had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. During the course of the study, they found that using a fish oil supplement showed there were "significantly lower rates of cognitive decline." However, these results only impacted those with normal brain health as opposed to those who already had dementia or Alzheimer's disease. They found that those with normal brain function showed less brain shrinkage while taking the fish oil supplements compared to those who did not.

While this study did not indicate notable changes for those who already suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's, the findings should not be overlooked in terms of Alzheimer's research. The results indicated that fish oil supplements could be able to prevent cognitive decline and brain atrophy before it starts. The principle investigator of the study, Lori Daiello, believes that while further research will reveal more, the current findings "are promising and highlight the need for future studies to expand the current knowledge of FOS use on cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease."

Why is this study so important? As Daiello, said, "At least one person is diagnosed every minute with Alzheimer's disease and despite best efforts, we have not yet found a cure for this pervasive and debilitating disease." That makes any and all research particularly meaningful. More research could slow down the progression of Alzheimer's symptoms or allow patients to combat the disease. Focusing on research and prevention is undeniably important to the future of the disease - and for Alzheimer's patients. With this latest study, there is hope that men and women will be able to use fish oil supplements as a preventative measure. That just may lead longer and healthier lives.

There is still more research to be done on this topic. However, if the results of the Alzheimer's & Dementia study are anything to go by, adding fish oil supplements into your daily routine could benefit your body - and your brain.

Are you looking for more information about cognitive decline and brain health? Contact the Age Matters Clinic at: 647-268-0620. We understand how to improve the life of Alzheimer's and memory loss patients.