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Effects on transthyretin in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid by DHA-rich n – 3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: the OmegAD study


Faxén-Irving, Gerd, Freund-Levi, Yvonne, Eriksdotter-Jönhagen, Maria, Basun, Hans, Hjorth, Erik, Palmblad, Jan, Vedin, Inger, Cederholm, Tommy, Wahlund, Lars-Olof


Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD, Volume: 36, No.: 1, Pages.: 1-6

Year of Publication



Transthyretin (TTR) binds amyloid-β (Aβ) and may reduce brain Aβ, a pathological feature in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). N – 3 fatty acids (FA), docosahexaenoic (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may increase TTR transcription in rat hippocampus. We studied effects of n – 3 FA supplementation on TTR-levels in patients with AD. Outpatients were randomized to receive 1.7 g DHA and 0.6 g EPA (n – 3/n – 3 group) or placebo (placebo/n – 3 group) during 6 months. After 6 months, all patients received n – 3 FA for another 6 months. TTR and FA were measured in plasma in all subjects, whereas TTR in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was measured in a subgroup. The study was completed by 89 patients in the n – 3/n – 3 group (75 y, 57% w) and 85 in the placebo/n – 3 group (75 y, 46% w). Baseline plasma-TTR was within normal range in both groups. After 6 months, plasma-TTR decreased in the placebo/n – 3 group (p < 0.001 within and p < 0.015 between the groups). No changes were observed in CSF TTR. From 6 to 12 months when both groups were supplemented, plasma-TTR increased significantly in both groups. Repeated measures ANOVA indicated an increase in TTR over time (p = 0.04) in those receiving n - 3 FA for 12 months. By linear regression analyses, n - 3 FA treatment was independently associated with increased plasma-TTR at 6 months (β = -0.172, p = 0.028). Thus, n - 3 FA treatment appeared to increase plasma-TTR in patients with AD. Since TTR may influence Aβ deposition in the brain, the results warrant further exploration.;


acid, aged, alzheimer disease, analysis, and, blood, cerebrospinal fluid, dha, diet therapy, dietary supplements, disease progression, docosahexaenoic, docosahexaenoic acids, double-blind method, eicosapentaenoic, epa, fatty, fatty acids omega3, female, humans, levels, male, neuropsychological tests, prealbumin, therapeutic use, time factors, transthyretin

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes



Hospital Outpatient Care

Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions