Fatty Acids in Brain Linked to Alzheimer's
Research by an international team has revealed that six unsaturated fatty acids found in two areas of study participants' brains correlated with incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The team, led by Cristina Legido-Quigley of King's College London and Madhav Thambisetty of the National Institute on Aging in the U.S., analyzed the concentration of 100 different fatty acid metabolites in the brain tissue of seniors who participated in the six decade-long Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.
Participants in the study were divided into three groups -- 14 with healthy brains; 15 with a buildup of amyloid plaque but no memory problems; and 14 with AD. Each was assessed cognitively in the year prior to death, and all had their brain tissue tested for neuropathologies after death. The six fatty acids that correlated with AD in the study were: docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and oleic acid. The authors of the study note, meanwhile, that larger studies are needed in order to replicate and confirm the findings, especially as their study sample of just 43 men and women was quite small.
According to the American Alzheimer's Association, one adult in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease every 66 seconds. Alzheimer's-related deaths, meanwhile, have increased by almost 90 percent in the past decade and a half.
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