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Omega-3 supplementation in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: effects on neuropsychiatric symptoms
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. (Geriatrics)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. (Clinical Nutrition)
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2008 (English)In: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, ISSN 0885-6230, E-ISSN 1099-1166, Vol. 23, no 2, 161-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Epidemiological and animal studies have suggested that dietary fish or fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids (ω3), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may have effects in psychiatric and behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD). An association with APOEω4 carriers and neuropsychiatric symptoms in AD has also been suggested. Objective: To determine effects of dietary ω3 supplementation to AD patients with mild to moderate disease on psychiatric and behavioral symptoms, daily functions and a possible relation to APOEgenotype. Methods: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial where 204 AD patients (74 ± 9 years) with acetylcholine esterase inhibitor treatment and a MMSE >15 points were randomized to daily intake of 1.7 g DHA and 0.6 g EPA (ω3 group) or placebo for 6 months. Then, all received the ω3 supplementation for 6 more months. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were measured with Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Montgomery Åsberg Depression Scale (MADRS). Caregivers burden and activities of daily living (Disability Assessment for Dementia, DAD) were also assessed. Results: One hundred and seventy-four patients fulfilled the trial. 72% were APOEω4 carriers. No significant overall treatment effects on neuropsychiatric symptoms, on activities of daily living or on caregiver's burden were found. However, significant positive treatment effects on the scores in the NPI agitation domain in APOEω4 carriers (p = 0.006) and in MADRS scores in non-APOEω4 carriers (p = 0.005) were found. Conclusions: Supplementation with ω3 in patients with mild to moderate AD did not result in marked effects on neuropsychiatric symptoms except for possible positive effects on depressive symptoms (assessed by MADRS) in non-APOEω4 carriers and agitation symptoms (assessed by NPI) in APOEω4 carriers. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00211159.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 23, no 2, 161-169 p.
Keyword [en]
Agitation, Alzheimer's disease, APOE, Dementia, Depression, DHA, EPA, Neuropsychiatric, Omega-3
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-16047DOI: 10.1002/gps.1857ISI: 000253472100007PubMedID: 17582225OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-16047DiVA: diva2:43818
Available from: 2008-04-10 Created: 2008-04-10 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Basun, HansCederholm, Tommy
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