Eicosapentaenoic acid is associated with decreased incidence of alzheimer’s dementia in the oldest old

Debora Melo van Lent, Sarah Egert, Steffen Wolfsgruber, Luca Kleineidam, Leonie Weinhold, Holger Wagner-Thelen, Wolfgang Maier, Frank Jessen, Alfredo Ramirez, Matthias Schmid, Martin Scherer, Steffi G. Riedel-Heller, Michael Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may have different effects on cognitive health due to their anti-or pro-inflammatory properties. Methods. We aimed to prospectively examine the relationships between n-3 and n-6 PUFA contents in serum phospholipids with incident all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease dementia (AD). We included 1264 non-demented participants aged 84 ± 3 years from the German Study on Ageing, Cognition, and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe) multicenter-cohort study. We investigated whether fatty acid concentrations in serum phospholipids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA), and arachidonic acid (AA), were associated with risk of incident all-cause dementia and AD. Results. During the follow-up window of seven years, 233 participants developed dementia. Higher concentrations of EPA were associated with a lower incidence of AD (hazard ratio (HR) 0.76 (95% CI 0.63; 0.93)). We also observed that higher concentrations of EPA were associated with a decreased risk for all-cause dementia (HR 0.76 (95% CI 0.61; 0.94)) and AD (HR 0.66 (95% CI 0.51; 0.85)) among apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) non-carriers but not among APOE ε4 carriers. No other fatty acids were significantly associated with AD or dementia. Conclusions. Higher concentrations of EPA were associated with a lower risk of incident AD. This further supports a beneficial role of n-3 PUFAs for cognitive health in old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number461
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease dementia
  • Apolipoprotein E ε4
  • Dementia
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Fatty acids
  • Oldest old
  • Omega-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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