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Aging and Disease    2017, Vol. 8 Issue (4) : 372-383     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0501
Original Article |
Predictors of Memory in Healthy Aging: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Balance and Fornix White Matter Integrity
Marta K. Zamroziewicz1,2,3,Erick J. Paul1,2,Chris E. Zwilling1,2,Aron K. Barbey1,2,3,4,5,6,7,*
1Decision Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
2Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
3Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
4Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
5Carle Neuroscience Institute, Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL, USA.
6Department of Internal Medicine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
7Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA
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Recent evidence demonstrates that age and disease-related decline in cognition depends not only upon degeneration in brain structure and function, but also on dietary intake and nutritional status. Memory, a potential preclinical marker of Alzheimer’s disease, is supported by white matter integrity in the brain and dietary patterns high in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the extent to which memory is supported by specific omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the degree to which this relationship is reliant upon microstructure of particular white matter regions is not known. This study therefore examined the cross-sectional relationship between empirically-derived patterns of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (represented by nutrient biomarker patterns), memory, and regional white matter microstructure in healthy, older adults. We measured thirteen plasma phospholipid omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, memory, and regional white matter microstructure in 94 cognitively intact older adults (65 to 75 years old). A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions, adjusted for age, gender, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. The mediation analysis revealed that a mixture of plasma phospholipid omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids is linked to memory and that white matter microstructure of the fornix fully mediates the relationship between this pattern of plasma phospholipid polyunsaturated fatty acids and memory. These results suggest that memory may be optimally supported by a balance of plasma phospholipid omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids through the preservation of fornix white matter microstructure in cognitively intact older adults. This report provides novel evidence for the benefits of plasma phospholipid omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid balance on memory and underlying white matter microstructure.

Keywords nutritional cognitive neuroscience      memory      polyunsaturated fatty acids      white matter integrity      healthy aging     
Corresponding Authors: Aron K. Barbey   
Issue Date: 01 August 2017
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Marta K. Zamroziewicz
Erick J. Paul
Chris E. Zwilling
Aron K. Barbey
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Marta K. Zamroziewicz,Erick J. Paul,Chris E. Zwilling, et al. Predictors of Memory in Healthy Aging: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Balance and Fornix White Matter Integrity[J]. A&D, 2017, 8(4): 372-383.
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