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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 153437, 7 pages
Clinical Study

The Association between Cerebral White Matter Lesions and Plasma Omega-3 to Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Ratio to Cognitive Impairment Development

1Department of Cardiology, Hokusetsu General Hospital, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-8585, Japan
2Department of Radiology, Hokusetsu General Hospital, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-8585, Japan
3Department of Rehabilitation, Aijinkai Rehabilitation Hospital, Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan

Received 12 February 2015; Revised 20 May 2015; Accepted 31 May 2015

Academic Editor: Charles Ramassamy

Copyright © 2015 Michihiro Suwa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Cerebral white matter hyperintensity (WMH) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has a potential for predicting cognitive impairment. Serum polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels are important for evaluating the extent of atherosclerosis. We investigated whether abnormal PUFA levels affected WMH grading and cognitive function in patients without significant cognitive impairment. Methods. Atherosclerotic risk factors, the internal carotid artery (ICA) plaque, and serum ratios of eicosapentaenoic to arachidonic acids (EPA/AA) and docosahexaenoic to arachidonic acids (DHA/AA) were assessed in 286 patients. The relationship among these risk factors, WMH, and cognitive function was evaluated using WMH grading and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Results. The development of WMH was associated with aging, hypertension, ICA plaques, and a low serum EPA/AA ratio (<0.38, obtained as the median value) but was not related to dyslipidemia, diabetes, smoking, and a low serum DHA/AA ratio (<0.84, obtained as the median value). In addition, the MMSE score deteriorated slightly with the progression of WMH (29.7 ± 1.0 compared to 28.4 ± 2.1, ). Conclusions. The progression of WMH was associated with a low serum EPA/AA ratio and accompanied minimal deterioration in cognitive function. Sufficient omega-3 PUFA intake may be effective in preventing the development of cognitive impairment.