The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    DHA effective in some people with Alzheimer’s disease

    ├é┬áDuring the Alzheimer’s Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers from Oregon Health & Sciences University, in Portland reported that the benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 essential fatty acid, were influenced by a patient’s genetic makeup.

    First, the details.

    • 402 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were given DHA or placebo for 18 months.

    And, the results.

    • After 18 months, both groups had an 8-point decline in the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive score.
    • There was an 11-point decline in Activities of Daily Living scale with placebo vs a 10-point decline with DHA.
    • Behavioral symptom scores increased 4 points with placebo vs 2 points with DHA.
      • None of these differences were significant.
    • However, those taking DHA who had the apolipoprotein E4 gene had a 5-point increase the scale measuring worsening of memory or thinking processes, while those without the gene showed about a 10-point increase — a significant difference.

    The bottom line?
    There’s no evidence that DHA can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in people with the apolipoprotein E4 gene, just that disease progression may not be a rapid.

    Measuring the effect of having the apolipoprotein E4 gene was not the primary objective of the study. Therefore, the results are interesting, but not definitive.

    But, these finding provide more support for the potential influence of genetics on the response to supplements.

    More examples are here and here.

    7/17/09 11:53 JR

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