Mental Health and Cognition

Addressing Depression in Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients

In end-stage renal disease, over 90% of kidney function has been lost. Hemodialysis has long been a solution to prolong the life of end-stage renal disease patients. Depressive symptoms and distress are very common in chronic hemodialysis patients with end-stage renal disease, with an estimated prevalence rate of 20 to 70%. Longitudinal studies have shown that the level of depression in hemodialysis patients is variable over time, and is affected by a multitude of personal, interpersonal and nutritional factors. Episodes of depression can negatively influence nutritional status and immune function,…

Read More

Attention and Working Memory of Term Infants Unrelated to Prenatal Maternal DHA-Supplementation

One of the most important reasons to assure the adequate intake of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs (n-3 LC-PUFAs) during pregnancy and early infancy is the importance of these fatty acids, especially DHA, in the structural and functional development of the brain. Although DHA is found in cell membranes throughout the brain, it is especially concentrated in the hippocampus, basal ganglia and frontal lobes, which are involved in cognition and executive functions. Animals and humans fed diets deficient in n-3 PUFAs during fetal and early postnatal life experience significantly reduced content of…

Read More

EPA Significantly Reduces Depressive Episodes in Interferon-Alpha-Treated Hepatitis C Patients

Interferons are a class of cytokines with important immunoregulatory properties, including antiviral and anticarcinogenic effects. They are especially important in the body’s innate immune response to viral infections and are widely used in the primary and adjunct treatment of hepatitis B and C viruses, cancer, such as malignant melanoma and certain leukemias, and in multiple sclerosis. However, their use is associated with several side effects, including neuropsychiatric and depressive symptoms, autoimmunity and slower motor speed. A systematic review of interferon-induced depression in patients with chronic hepatitis C reported that 1…

Read More

Fish Intake, not Red Blood Cell Omega-3s, Linked to Poorer Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

More frequent consumption of fish, especially fatty fish, and higher blood levels of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs (n-3 LC-PUFAs) have been associated with a lower risk of developing dementia and cognitive decline in several prospective cohort studies of older adults. As is often the case, not all studies agree. Fewer investigators have asked the basic question, does fish or n-3 LC-PUFA consumption affect normal cognitive performance in older individuals? Studies in Norway and the U.K. reported a direct association between higher fish consumption and cognitive performance in adults 70 to 74…

Read More

Higher n-6:n-3 PUFA Intakes in Pregnancy Linked to Poorer Neurodevelopment Scores in Non-Breastfed Children

The importance of long-chain PUFAs (LC-PUFAs) in fetal and infant development derives from the involvement of these fatty acids in brain structure and function and cell signaling in the brain, retina and neural cells. During development, the fetus depends on the maternal supply of these fatty acids for brain, eye and neural cell growth, which in turn depends on the mother’s diet for adequate supplies. Inadequate LC-PUFA intakes during pregnancy results in reduced levels of DHA in the infant’s brain, which have been associated with impaired cognitive and behavioral performance….

Read More

EPA + DHA for 26 Weeks Linked to Improved Executive Function and Brain Structure

Positive links between DHA, long-chain omega-3 PUFA (n-3 LC-PUFA) status or intake and LC-PUFA supplementation and cognitive function have been reported in infants, children, adults and the elderly, but the literature is inconsistent and effects have usually been small. Several, but not all, studies have reported a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment with higher intakes or blood levels of n-3 LC-PUFAs, sometimes, but not always, a forerunner of dementia. Few interventions can slow or halt the decline of cognitive function with aging, and none has been shown to improve…

Read More

Higher Intakes of Omega-3 PUFAs Alone or with Less Omega-6 PUFAs Linked to Lower Risk of Depressive Symptoms in Women

Depressive illness, especially in its recurrent form—major depressive disorder—is a disabling illness that the World Health Organization expects will be the world’s second leading cause of disability by the year 2020. In high-income countries, the lifetime prevalence of this condition is estimated at 14.6%, with the figure dropping to 11.1% in low- and middle-income countries. Women have twice the risk of major depressive illness as men. The condition usually appears between 20 and 30 years of age, indicating the potential for it to be a life-long burden. The primary treatments…

Read More

Low Seafood Consumption Associated with Higher Anxiety Levels in Late Pregnancy

Excessive anxiety during pregnancy increases the chances of lower birthweight and shorter gestation and may adversely affect the infant’s neurodevelopment. Cognitive behavioral therapy, prescription medications, yoga, complementary therapies and exercise may be beneficial in reducing maternal anxiety during pregnancy, but almost no attention has been given to the potential usefulness of improved nutrition in alleviating stress and anxiety. The growing literature describing the benefits of n-3 LC-PUFAs in treating a variety of mood disorders without the side effects of pharmacological interventions suggests that these fatty acids might be appropriate for…

Read More

Aspirin-Triggered Resolvin D1 Prevents Cognitive Decline Associated with Surgery

Animal and human studies have demonstrated that, in the metabolic syndrome or elderly patients with an acute illness, those who undergo surgery often experience a surgery-induced sharp decline in cognition. Similar impairments have been observed in patients with severe infection, chemotherapy, trauma and heart failure, with cognitive improvements more likely with cardiac treatment. Cognitive decline is also associated with postoperative delirium and may lead to prolonged impairment. Post-surgical cognitive dysfunction is also associated with an increased risk of mortality. The effect of anesthesia alone on cognition may be difficult to…

Read More

Depressive Symptoms Not Prevented by EPA or DHA Supplementation in Pregnancy

Perinatal depressive illness has implications for pregnancy outcomes, the development of a healthy mother-child relationship, infant and child development and the mother’s ability to cope with the stress of caring for a newborn. Prevalence estimates suggest that major and minor episodes of depressive symptoms during pregnancy and the first year after delivery affect 12 to 16% of women, with occurrences more frequent during pregnancy than after delivery and among women with a history of mental disorders. Although some medications, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are increasingly prescribed for pregnant women,…

Read More