Cerebral Atrophy Treatment In Ayurveda – Is Cerebral Atrophy Curable?
A report published online on January 22, 2014 in the journal Neurology® reveals an association between higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and greater brain volume in older age. This may suggest that these omega-3 fatty acids and cerebral atrophy treatment in Ayurveda protect the brain from the loss of volume that happens with normal aging and is seen more severely in people with dementia, the researchers say.
“These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and the results suggest that the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with aging by one to two years,” commented lead author James V. Pottala, PhD, of the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls and chief biostatistician for the Health Diagnostic Laboratory in Richmond, Virginia, a company that runs tests of blood levels of fatty acids.
The study included 1,111 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, which was a subset study of subjects enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative. Subjects were between the ages of 65 to 80 years upon enrollment. Blood samples were analyzed for red blood cell fatty acid levels and magnetic resonance imaging was conducted a median of eight years later to evaluate brain volume.
Blood Levels of EPA and DHA
Having a higher blood level of EPA combined with DHA was associated with larger total brain volume and hippocampal volume at the time of the MRI scans. (The hippocampus is an area of the brain involved with learning.) No association with ischemic lesion volumes and omega-3 fatty acids was observed.
“In this cohort of postmenopausal women, lower red blood cell EPA plus DHA levels correlated with smaller total and hippocampal brain volumes, the former being an indication of cognitive aging and the latter being centrally involved with Alzheimer’s disease pathology,” Dr Pottala and his colleagues conclude. “This study thus adds to the growing literature suggesting that higher omega-3 fatty acid tissue levels, which can be achieved by dietary changes, may hold promise for delaying cognitive aging and/or dementia.”
How Do You Treat Brain Atrophy? – Presence of EPA and DHA
Researchers hypothesize that the presence of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may help prevent shrinking in the brain, either because DHA is used in anti-inflammatory compounds that prevent cell death, or because it is used in the construction of the membranes of brain cells, but the exact reason for the connection requires further study.
Since the study does not prove that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are the cause of the brain-size differences observed, or that those differences have any effect on cognitive function, the researchers caution that more research is needed to know whether raising omega-3 levels would make any difference to brain health.
The hope is that the larger brain volumes seen in the study are an indication that fish consumption or fish oil supplementation can help ward off dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But that effect was not directly measured, and “has yet to be determined,” says Dr. Pottala.
Image Source: Neurology®