Quantitative Erythrocyte Omega-3 EPA Plus DHA Levels are Related to Higher Regional Cerebral Blood Flow on Brain SPECT

Daniel G. Amen, William Harris, Parris M. Kidd, Somayeh Meysami, Cyrus A. Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The interrelationships between omega-3 fatty acids status, brain perfusion, and cognition are not well understood. Objective: To evaluate if SPECT brain imaging of cerebral perfusion and cognition varies as a function of omega-3 fatty acid levels. Methods: A random sample of 166 study participants was drawn from a psychiatric referral clinical for which erythrocyte quantification of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (the Omega-3 Index) was available. Quantitative brain SPECT was done on 128 regions based on a standard anatomical Atlas. Persons with erythrocyte EPADHA concentrations were dichotomized based on membership in top 50th percentile versus bottom 50th percentile categories. Two-sample t-tests were done to identify statistically significant differences in perfusion between the percentile groups. Partial correlations were modeled between EPADHA concentration and SPECT regions. Neurocognitive status was assessed using computerized testing (WebNeuro) and was separately correlated to cerebral perfusion on brain SPECT imaging and omega-3 EPADHA levels. Results: Partial correlation analyses showed statistically significant relationships between higher omega-3 levels and cerebral perfusion were in the right parahippocampal gyrus (r = 0.20, p = 0.03), right precuneus (r = 0.20, p = 0.03), and vermis subregion 6 (p = 0.21, p = 0.03). Omega-3 Index levels separately correlated to the feeling subsection of the WebNeuro (r = 0.25, p = 0.01). Conclusion: Quantitative omega-3 EPADHA erythrocyte concentrations are independently correlated with brain perfusion on SPECT imaging and neurocognitive tests. These results have implications for the role of omega-3 fatty acids toward contributing to cognitive reserve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1199
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain SPECT
  • cognitive
  • omega-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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