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Protective roles of omega-3 fatty acids in injury and diseases of brain and retina: translation from mechanisms to treatment potential

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Concurrent Symposia Session II

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Balcony B


  • Hee-Yong Kim, NIAAA


It is now understood that the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in food greatly influences lipid composition in the human body with far reaching health consequences. An important target of such dietary influence is the nervous system that is exceptionally enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid with 22 carbons and six double bonds. Here we focus on the molecular, cellular and functional consequences of DHA modulation in the brain and retina in the context of the disease and injury outcome. DHA alters properties of cell membranes and may influence cell signaling via lipid-protein interaction. More recently, signaling by ligands that are derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids has received particular attention. Clinical studies show that omega-3 fat deficiencies in the diet are correlated with neurodevelopmental and psychiatric risks.

Molecular mechanisms for DHA-induced neuroprotection: implications for treatment and prevention in traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Hee-Yong Kim, NIAAA

Imaging DHA incorporation into brain as a biomarker of in vivo metabolism and neurotransmission: implications for healthy aging
Stanley Rapoport, NIA

Fatty acids as mediators for the PEDF activities in the retina
S. Patricia Becerra, NEI

Omega-3 fatty acids as protective agent against age-related macular degeneration (AMD): promising translational research
John-Paul SanGiovanni, NEI

Deficiencies in long-chain omega-3 fats and neurodevelopmental and psychiatric risks: applications for the US military
Joseph Hibbeln, NIAAA

Regulation of axonal morphogenesis by docosahexaenoic acid and its ethanolamide derivative, Synaptamide FARE Award Winner
Giorgi Kharebava, NIAAA

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