Omega-3 in people with memory problems


Loneliness enhances risk for episodic (or autobiographical) memory impairment. As omega-3 fatty acids can improve cognitive function in people with mild cognitive difficulties, a group of researchers studied whether omega-3 supplementation would attenuate loneliness-related episodic memory problems. For this purpose, they administered omega-3 or placebo, daily for 4 months, to the participants in the study (who completed a loneliness questionnaire and a battery of cognitive tests both at the beginning and at the end of this period). After the period of supplementation, in the group of participants who had taken placebo, the lonelier people had poorer episodic memory than the less lonely people, but this did not happen in the group of participants who had taken omega-3; in this group, the lonelier and the less lonely people had similar outcomes after supplementation. That is, in the group supplemented with omega-3, episodic memory did not worsen in lonelier people, as was the case in group without omega-3 supplementation.

These results suggest that omega-3 supplementation could be useful for treating autobiographical memory problems among lonely people.




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