B-vitamins and fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and dementia: a systematic review.
In a number of previous reports we showed the salutary effects on rats of SR-3, a compound comprising a 1:4 ratio of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Improvements were noted in learning tasks, thermoregulation, recovery from neurotoxins, and seizure protection. Because we were impressed that these effects are related to changes in membrane fluidity and neuronal functioning and because Alzheimer's Disease is also associated with lipid defects, we undertook a short term (4 week) double blind study with 100 Alzheimer patients (60 received SR-3 and 40 in a placebo control). The results indicated improvements in mood, cooperation, appetite, sleep, ability to navigate in the home, and short term memory. Overall improvement was reported for 49 patients, and in no case did a guardian report adverse effects to the compound. While not uniform or permanent, and while no mode of action for SR-3 can be precisely identified at this time, the promising results in quality of life for the patient and caregiver warrant further clinical trials and continued basic research into the neuropsychological substrate of the disease and its response to SR-3.