ECU researchers’ breakthrough nets funding to study fatty acid’s role in dementia prevention

Neurodegenerative diseases – such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS – are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among older adults.

The risk of these diseases is reduced by intake of the omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is mainly in fish and fish oils. However, not much is known about exactly how DHA gets to the brain in order to be effective, and why the intake of the fatty acid is more beneficial for some people than others.

A recent research breakthrough by an East Carolina University researcher discovered that a specific enzyme – Acyl-CoA synthetase 6 (Acsl6) – is critical for enriching DHA in the brain.

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Originally published July 9, 2019.