Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

May 21, 2002

U of G seeking Alzheimer’s patients for Omega-3 fatty acid study

Nutritional scientist Julie Conquer has already found that eating fish appears to protect people against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Now Conquer, director of the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit at the University of Guelph, and master’s student Kati Anton want to determine if an increase in omega-3 fatty acids will improve the cognitive abilities of Alzheimer’s patients.

Conquer and Anton are looking for 20 people aged 50 to 90 who have Alzheimer’s disease to take part in their study. Participants will take four capsules of fish oil or vegetable oil placebo by mouth each day for six months. Because the study will be investigating the link between DHA, a fatty acid from fish, and Alzheimer’s, study participants will ideally not consume fish more than once a week.

"’m very optimistic that we can increase the omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of the participants,” said Conquer. She is hoping that an increase of DHA levels will lessen the effects of dementia. Dementia is an impairment of intellectual function involving memory loss, mood swings, altered social behaviour and impaired daily functioning. “We are hoping that cognitive scores will increase,” she said.

For more information or to participate in the study, contact Conquer at (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3749, or

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