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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2010, Article ID 274128, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2010/274128
Review Article

Amyloid-Beta Peptide, Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Neuroprotective Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

British College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lief House, 120-122 Finchely Road, London NW5 5HR, UK

Received 8 February 2010; Accepted 23 April 2010

Academic Editor: Diana Paleacu

Copyright © 2010 S. C. Dyall. 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.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by a decline in cognitive function and also profound alterations in mood and behaviour. The pathology of the disease is characterised by the presence of extracellular amyloid peptide deposits and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Although many hypotheses have been put forward for the aetiology of the disease, increased inflammation and oxidative stress appear key to be features contributing to the pathology. The omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have well-characterised effects on inflammation and may have neuroprotective effects in a number of neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease. The aims of this paper are to review the neuroprotective effects of EPA and DHA in Alzheimer's disease, with special emphasis on their role in modulating oxidative stress and inflammation and also examine their potential as therapeutic agents.