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“Long Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intervention in Ageing Adults at Risk of Dementia Following Repeated Head Trauma. Low-Level Support or an Opportunity for an Unanswered Question?”

The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease (2020)

Authors: Craig S Patch1, Elisa L Hill2, Lisa Ryan3, Ed Daly3, Alan J Pearce1



1. College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

2. School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

3. School of Science and Computing, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2020.1835223



Emerging evidence of brain injury on risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have resulted in interest in therapeutic potential of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3FA). We conducted a systematic review of n-3FA therapeutic efficacy for ageing adults at risk of AD/CTE following a history of repeated head trauma. Databases for articles between 1980–June 2020 were examined for studies reporting on n-3 FAs in adults (≥ 45 years) with a history of repeated brain injury. Following an initial screen of 175 articles, 12 studies were considered but were eventually rejected, as they did not meet inclusion criteria.

Our review could find no evidence to support, or disprove, effectiveness of n-3FA intervention in older adults with a history of head trauma. With animal studies showing neuro-restorative potential of n-3FA following brain injury, this review highlights the urgent need for human research in this area.


Keywords: Omega-3 fatty acids, Concussion, Cognition, Depression