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Drugs, Herbal Supplements, Omega-3 Fatty Acids Do Not Prevent Dementia

April 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
With as many as 25 percent of people over age 70 experiencing mild cognitive impairment, it is helpful to know whether drugs, herbal products or vitamin supplements prevent the onset of the condition. Turns out they don’t, according to a Canadian review of relevant scientific studies. There just wasn’t any evidence that pharmacologic treatments such as cholinesterase inhibitors, herbal supplements like gingko, vitamins such as vitamin B6 or omega-3 fatty acids, are effective.  The strongest evidence was for the value of mental exercises such as computerized training programs or intensive one-on-one personal cognitive training in memory, reasoning, or speed of processing.
Raza Naqvi et al., "Preventing cognitive decline in healthy older adults", CMAJ, April 15, 2013, © Canadian Medical Association
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