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Vol. 29, No. 5, 2010
Issue release date: June 2010
Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2010;29:467–474

Phosphatidylserine Containing ω–3 Fatty Acids May Improve Memory Abilities in Non-Demented Elderly with Memory Complaints: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial

Vakhapova V. · Cohen T. · Richter Y. · Herzog Y. · Korczyn A.D.
aNeurology Department, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and bSieratzki Chair of Neurology, Tel-Aviv University Medical School, Tel-Aviv, and cEnzymotec Ltd., Migdal HaEmeq, Israel

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Background: Phosphatidylserine (PS) may have beneficial effects on cognitive functions. We evaluated the efficacy of a novel preparation of PS containing ω–3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids attached to its backbone (PS-DHA) in non-demented elderly with memory complaints. Methods: 157 participants were randomized to receive either PS-DHA or placebo for 15 weeks. Efficacy measures, assessed at baseline and endpoint, included the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Rey Complex Figure Test, and a computerized cognitive battery. Clinicians’ Global Impression of Change was assessed following 7 and 15 weeks of treatment. Results: 131 participants completed the study although 9 were excluded from the efficacy analysis due to protocol violation. At endpoint, verbal immediate recall was significantly improved in the PS-DHA group compared to the placebo group. Post-hoc analysis revealed that a subset of participants with relatively good cognitive performance at baseline had significant treatment-associated improvements in immediate and delayed verbal recall, learning abilities, and time to copy complex figure. These favorable results were further supported by responder analysis. Conclusions: The results indicate that PS-DHA may improve cognitive performance in non-demented elderly with memory complaints. Post-hoc analysis of subgroups suggests that participants with higher baseline cognitive status were most likely to respond to PS-DHA. The results of this exploratory study should be followed up by additional studies aimed at confirming the present tentative conclusions.

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