From: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Published July 18, 2017 01:47 PM

Using Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Treat Alzheimer's & Other Diseases?

Understanding how dietary essential fatty acids work may lead to effective treatments for diseases and conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease and other retinal and neurodegenerative diseases. The key is to be able to intervene during the early stages of the disease. That is the conclusion of a Minireview by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director, and Aram Asatryan, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, at the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s Thematic Minireview Series: Inflammatory transcription confronts homeostatic disruptions. The paper is available online.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a key essential Omega-3 fatty acid, produces signaling molecules called docosanoids in response to disruptions in the state of equilibrium within cells caused by injury or disease. Neuroprotectin D1 (NDP1) is a docosanoid that the Bazan lab discovered and found protects neurons by controlling which and how certain genes in the retina and brain respond.

Research shows that the preclinical events in Alzheimer’s disease including neuroinflammation, damage to dendritic spines – small doorknob-shaped protrusions that help transmit electrical signals to the cell – and problems with cell-to-cell communication coincide with decreased DHA content in the brain. The neuroprotective bioactivity of NPD1 includes inflammatory modulating properties as well as features that promote cell survival, both of which contribute to restoring a stable state of equilibrium, or homeostasis, within the cell.

Read more at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Image: This is Dr. Nicolas G. Bazan. (Credit: LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence)

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