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Fatty acid link to Alzheimer's disease

Fatty acid link to Alzheimer's disease
20th October 2008

A fatty acid usually associated with a healthy diet has been linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease in new research.

High levels of arachidonic acid - an omega-6 fatty acid - were identified in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Nature Neuroscience journal.

When scientists reduced levels of the fatty acid, they found that the brain function of the mice appeared to be improved.

Lead author Rene Sanchez-Mejia, of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, suggested that arachidonic acid "wreaks havoc" in the mice with Alzheimer's.

She added that the study's results "have important therapeutic implications", while pointing out that fatty acids can in general be regulated through diet or drugs.

A separate study recently found that high doses of vitamin B do not slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the vitamin did not halt the rate of cognitive decline in patients with mild to moderate forms of the condition.

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