Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids predict accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function in older persons

F. Lauretani, S. Bandinelli, B. Benedetta, A. Cherubini, A. D. Iorio, A. Blè, V. Giacomini, A. M. Corsi, J. M. Guralnik, L. Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Pre-clinical studies suggest that both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on peripheral nerve function. Rats feed a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) showed modification of phospholipid fatty acid composition in nerve membranes and improvement of sciatic nerve conduction velocity (NCV). We tested the hypothesis that baseline plasma omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids levels predict accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function. Changes between baseline and the 3-year follow-up in peripheral nerve function was assessed by standard surface ENG of the right peroneal nerve in 384 male and 443 female participants of the InCHIANTI study (age range: 24-97 years). Plasma concentrations of selected fatty acids assessed at baseline by gas chromatography. Independent of confounders, plasma omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid were significantly correlated with peroneal NCV at enrollment. Lower plasma PUFA, omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, ratio omega-6/omega-3, arachidonic acid and docosahexanoic acid levels were significantly predicted a steeper decline in nerve function parameters over the 3-year follow-up. Low plasma omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids levels were associated with accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function with aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • InCHIANTI study
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Peripheral nerves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Lauretani, F., Bandinelli, S., Benedetta, B., Cherubini, A., Iorio, A. D., Blè, A., Giacomini, V., Corsi, A. M., Guralnik, J. M., & Ferrucci, L. (2007). Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids predict accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function in older persons. European Journal of Neurology, 14(7), 801-808. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2007.01860.x