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18 Nov 2010 - Northumbria University - Omega-3 for Age-related memory problems? Call for Volunteers

Omega-3 for Age-related memory problems?

Volunteers wanted for Research study at Northumbria University:

In the UK the average age of the population is increasing as people are living longer. Cognitive function tends to decline with age for a variety of reasons, including reduced flexibility of the connections between brain cells, accumulated damage caused by ‘oxidative stress’ and reduced blood flow to the brain.

Ageing is particularly associated with reduced performance in basic cognitive processes such as memory and attention. Various lifestyle factors are known to accelerate cognitive ageing, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and poor diet. One dietary factor that may help to protect against cognitive ageing is a good intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Population studies suggest that an increased intake of oily fish, the main dietary source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, is associated with reduced cognitive decline later in life. In addition, research published earlier this year also indicated that omega-3 supplementation was effective in improving cognitive performance over 6 months in adults who were experiencing age-associated memory impairment.

These encouraging results require further investigation. To this end, researchers at Northumbria University are currently running an exciting new study to investigate the effects of an omega-3 supplement on mental function, well-being and cerebral blood flow in healthy adults aged 50-70 years.

The study needs more volunteers, so if you (or someone you know) would be interested in helping with this research, please get in touch with the research team as soon as possible by telephone, email or their website as shown below. 

Study numbers are strictly limited, but the researchers will be accepting new participants until June 2011 on a first-come, first-served basis.  To be eligible for this research study, volunteers must be:

  • aged 50-70 years
  • generally healthy
  • living in (or near) the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area
  • not already eating a lot of oily fish, nor taking omega-3 supplements
  • feeling that their memory is not as good as it used to be

For more information on the study, or to find out how to register as a volunteer, please telephone, email or visit the research group’s website:

Tel:  0191 204 8818

Email:  bpnrc@northumbria.ac.uk