Omega-3 fatty acids and cognitive decline

Omega-3 fatty acids do not affect cognitive function

In the Alpha Omega Trial we tested the hypothesis that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cognitive decline. In this substudy, patients who have had a heart attack were followed for 40 months. The overall cognitive function score decreased by 0.67 points during follow-up but the changes in the score did not differ among the three groups that received additonal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, 400 mg/day EPA-DHA and/or 2 g/day ALA, compared to placebo.

Addressing mental state

In 2,911 participants of the Alpha Omega Trial, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered at the start and the end of the study. The MMSE assesses global cognitive function and includes questions on orientation to time and place, registration, attention and calculation, recall, language, and visual construction. The maximum score is 30 points, and lower scores indicate poorer cognitive functioning. Because patients with dementia or impaired cognitive function could not participate in the Alpha Omega Trial, the score on the MMSE test was high at the start of the study (mean of 28.3 points).