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健康資訊

 
 
補充魚油可助降低老人癡呆症的風險 Fish oil supplementation may help to lower the risk of developing dementia

More than 100,000 people with dementia are currently prescribed antipsychotic drugs which have now been shown to cause significant cognitive deterioration.

The Alzheimer's Society has commented on new research showing that antipsychotic drugs accelerate cognitive deterioration in people with Alzheimer's disease published in the Public Library of Science medical journal.

This important research demonstrates that antipsychotic drugs not only have no long-term benefit for people with dementia, but also cause significant cognitive deterioration.

Over 100,000 people with dementia are currently prescribed antipsychotic drugs. Previous research has shown that antipsychotic drugs increase the risk of stroke and death for people with dementia. This blanket prescription puts vulnerable people at risk of side effects that are extremely distressing both for sufferers and their families. This widespread over prescription to people with dementia must stop.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, says: “Dementia isn't just forgetfulness; it's caused by diseases of the brain and more than half of all people with dementia experience behavioural symptoms as part of their condition. Alzheimer's Society research has shown that basic dementia training can help staff deal with these symptoms and reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs by 50%. It is time we stop wasting money giving people drug treatments with no benefit and start investing in good quality dementia care.”

“A report from the first parliamentary inquiry into the overuse of these drugs is due to be published next month. It is vital the government acts now to address this serious issue. Antipsychotics should only be given to a person with dementia as a last resort in the short term, when all other treatment options fail.”

A study by the Alzheimer's Society published in the British Medical Journal on 16 March 2006 found that training and educating care home staff about dementia reduces disruptive behaviour and the use of antipsychotics by 50%.

Another study has found that diet is of critical importance and that eating fish or seafood at least once a week lowers the risk of developing dementia. A team of French researchers asked elderly people about their eating habits and found a link between eating fish, which has high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a reduced risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

Over 1,670 people aged 68 or over living in south-west France took part in the survey, the results of which were published in 2002. They were all taking part in a long-term study of how age affects mental function and behaviour. They were classed as eating meat or fish every day, at least once a week (but not every day), from time to time (but not every week), or never. Researchers went back to talk to the study participants two, five, and seven years later. They were asked how often they ate fish (high in omega-3) or meat (rich in saturated fatty acids). It was found those who ate fish or seafood at least once a week had a significantly lower risk of developing dementia over the seven years of the study.

Fatty acids in fish oils have a protective effect on the vascular system, and the researchers say they could also reduce inflammation in the brain and have a specific role in brain development and regeneration of nerve cells.

The protective effect of omega-3 appeared to be less strong for more highly educated people, suggesting that this could be explained by healthy eating habits when young which could be linked with higher educational achievements, or because they follow recommendations on how much fish to eat more closely.

No significant link was seen between eating meat and a risk of dementia. Pascale Barberger-Gateau of the University Victor Segalen in Bordeaux who led the study, said: "Elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week are at a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease."

The fact of the matter is that most people do not consume enough oily fish to reap the benefits of fatty acids, so supplementation with fish oils is a more viable option for many.

Fatty acids play an important part in the functioning of every living cell in the body. Specifically they may help the body in several ways including: improving the circulatory system, aiding concentration, maintaining a well-balanced state of mind and keeping joints in good condition.

Omega product is a patented and highly concentrated formulation of ultra-pure EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from marine fish oil and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) from organic virgin evening primrose oil, providing a highly concentrated source of omega-3 & -6 long chain fatty acids and botanical triterpenes. This unique combination of natural fatty acids provides cell membranes with the nutrients required for efficient chemical signalling integral to healthy brain function. Just two capsules daily can help to reverse a fatty acid deficiency by increasing the amount of phospholipids in brain-cell membranes. As a result, messaging between neurons is enhanced and cognition improves. An increasing number of doctors and nutrition experts are using omega product to treat the symptoms of dementia including Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.