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DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), an Omega 3 Fatty Acid, in Slowing the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

2014-07-24 14:22:10 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The purpose of this study is to determine whether chronic DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) supplementation slows the progression of cognitive and functional decline in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Description

Preliminary studies have shown a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in people consuming increased amounts of fish in their diets. Many of the health benefits of fish are attributed to the abundance of omega 3 fatty acids. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is the most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain. Data from several animal models supports the hypothesis that DHA may be an effective treatment for AD by means of anti-amyloid, antioxidant, and neuroprotectant mechanisms.

In this study, 400 individuals with mild to moderate AD will participate at approximately 53 study sites throughout the US for 18 months. Participants will be randomized so that 60% will receive approximately 2 grams of DHA, divided into 4 capsules, 2 capsules taken twice a day, while 40% receive an identical placebo.

Potential participants will go to their study site for a screening visit, where eligibility is determined, and if accepted, for a baseline visit where cognitive status, behavioral status, functional status, and global severity of dementia will be assessed. Vital signs and biomarker labs will also be obtained. Subsequent visits will occur every three months for medication checks and, every 6 months, further assessments, physical exams, and labs.

Some participants will also take part in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and/or CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) sub-studies. For the MRI sub-study, scans will be done prior to beginning the study medication, and again after 18 months. Likewise, for the CSF sub-study, a lumbar puncture will be done prior to beginning the study medication, and again after 18 months.

Enrollment is restricted to individuals who consume no more than 200 mg of DHA per day, which is almost 300% of the average daily intake in an American diet. Individuals who take fish oil or omega 3 fatty acid supplements are also not eligible. Each visit will include completion of a very brief food frequency questionnaire to monitor dietary DHA levels.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Conditions

Alzheimer's Disease

Intervention

DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), Placebo

Location

University of Alabama, Birmingham
Birmingham
Alabama
United States
35294

Status

Active, not recruiting

Source

Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS)

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:22:10-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Abnormal structures located chiefly in distal dendrites and, along with NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES and SENILE PLAQUES, constitute the three morphological hallmarks of ALZHEIMER DISEASE. Neuropil threads are made up of straight and paired helical filaments which consist of abnormally phosphorylated microtubule-associated tau proteins. It has been suggested that the threads have a major role in the cognitive impairment seen in Alzheimer disease.

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A progressive form of dementia characterized by the global loss of language abilities and initial preservation of other cognitive functions. Fluent and nonfluent subtypes have been described. Eventually a pattern of global cognitive dysfunction, similar to ALZHEIMER DISEASE, emerges. Pathologically, there are no Alzheimer or PICK DISEASE like changes, however, spongiform changes of cortical layers II and III are present in the TEMPORAL LOBE and FRONTAL LOBE. (From Brain 1998 Jan;121(Pt 1):115-26)

Prostaglandin-like compounds produced by free radical-induced peroxidation of DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACIDS, which are highly enriched in the brain. Formation is analogous to ISOPROSTANES formation from ARACHIDONIC ACID.

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