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Alexia Mengelberg

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Ageing, cognition and omega-3 fatty acids

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The treatment and prevention of dementia has become one of the most challenging issues facing health professionals and researchers today. The state between normal age-related cognition and dementia, termed Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), has provided researchers with an opportunity to investigate the effects of lifestyle factors such as diet on cognition at the pre-symptomatic stage of dementia. Miss Mengelberg investigated the effects of a high-dose docosahexaenoic acid fish oil supplement on cognition and well-being in older adults with MCI as well as examining how the presence of the APOE ɛ4 allele affects the efficacy of fish oil. The ɛ4 allele has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. The 12-month randomised-controlled trial found no effect on cognition, but did find a treatment effect on systolic blood pressure and a treatment interaction for ɛ4 carriers on depression and anxiety scores in favour of the fish oil group.

Professor Janet Leathem
Dr Stephen Hill


Mengelberg, A & Siegert, R. (2003). Is theory-of-mind impaired in Parkinson’s disease? Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 8(3), 191-209.

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