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Research Article

Improved Working Memory but No Effect on Striatal Vesicular Monoamine Transporter Type 2 after Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation

  • Rajesh Narendran mail,

    narendranr@upmc.edu

    Affiliations: Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • William G. Frankle,

    Affiliations: Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Neale S. Mason,

    Affiliation: Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Matthew F. Muldoon,

    Affiliation: Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Bita Moghaddam

    Affiliation: Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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  • Published: October 03, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046832
  • Featured in PLOS Collections

Reader Comments (2)

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Omega-3 may Improve Memory by Decreasing the Cortisol to DHEA Ratio

Posted by jamesmhoward on 31 Oct 2012 at 14:02 GMT

I suggest omega-3 supplementation improves memory in young adults because of reduced cortisol production. This increases the DHEA to cortisol ratio.

It is my hypothesis that evolution selected dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) because it optimizes replication and transcription of DNA, that is, DHEA affects gene activity. Therefore, DHEA levels affect all tissues. DHEA naturally begins to decline around the ages of twenty to twenty-five, reaching very low levels in old age.

It is also my hypothesis that cortisol evolved to counteract the effects of DHEA and is the basis of the “fight or flight” mechanism. (“A Theory of the Control of the Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Homo sapiens by the Interaction of Dehydroepiandrosterone and the Amygdala,” Copyright 1985, James Michael Howard, Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.A. (Registered Copyright Txu220580).) The “cortisol to DHEA ratio” appears numerous times in the medical literature; it is becoming an important mechanism.

It is known that DHEA is beneficial to neurons / brain tissue while prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol produces opposite effects. In fact, DHEA improves working memory. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce cortisol levels (Nutr Neurosci. 2005 Aug;8(4):265-7).

I suggest the findings of Narendran, et al., represent the positive effects of an increased DHEA to cortisol ratio. This occurs more favorably in young adults since this is a time of relatively high DHEA production.

No competing interests declared.