Omega-3 fatty acids and domain-specific cognitive aging: Secondary analyses of data from WHISCA

Eric M. Ammann, James V. Pottala, William S. Harris, Mark A. Espeland, Robert Wallace, Natalie L. Denburg, Ryan M. Carnahan, Jennifer G. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To test the hypothesis that higher levels of red blood cell (RBC) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have a protective association with domain-specific cognitive function in women aged 65 years and older. Methods: A total of 2,157 women with normal cognition enrolled in a clinical trial of postmenopausal hormone therapy were followed with annual cognitive testing for a median of 5.9 years. In this retrospective cohort study, we assessed the relationship between prerandomization RBC DHA + EPA levels and a) cognitive measures at baseline, and b) cognitive change over time. Endpoints were composite cognitive function and performance in 7 cognitive domains: fine motor speed, verbal memory, visual memory, spatial ability, verbal knowledge, verbal fluency, and working memory. Results: After adjustment for demographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics, no significant (p < 0.01) cross-sectional cognitive differences were found between women in the high and low DHA + EPA tertiles at the time of the first annual cognitive battery. In addition, no significant (p < 0.01) differences were found between the high and low DHA + EPA tertiles in the rate of cognitive change over time. Conclusions: We did not find an association between RBC DHA + EPA levels and age-associated cognitive decline in a cohort of older, dementia-free women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1484-1491
Number of pages8
JournalNeurology
Volume81
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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    Ammann, E. M., Pottala, J. V., Harris, W. S., Espeland, M. A., Wallace, R., Denburg, N. L., Carnahan, R. M., & Robinson, J. G. (2013). Omega-3 fatty acids and domain-specific cognitive aging: Secondary analyses of data from WHISCA. Neurology, 81(17), 1484-1491. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a9584c