|N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) including α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have anti-inflammatory effects and neuronal protective functions and may benefit prevention of dementia; however, the epidemiological evidence is very limited. Therefore, the literature about the association between n-3 PUFA and dementia was searched, by using Pubmed. In the analyses of observational studies, n-3 PUFA has been reported to be beneficially associated with dementia in 17 studies; however, the beneficial association between n-3 PUFA and dementia was denied by three studies. In the analyses of intervention studies, n-3 PUFA supplementation was beneficially associated with dementia in eight studies; however, five studies reported the negligible effect of n-3 PUFA for dementia. N-3 PUFA may improve Alzheimer's disease by increasing clearance of amyloid-β peptide, neurotrophic and neuroprotective factors, and by anti-inflammatory effects. In conclusion, patients with mild memory and/or cognitive impairment can be treated by a long-term and higher intake of n-3 PUFA.
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