Pilot Study: Lipoic Acid and Omega-3 Fatty Acid for Alzheimer's Disease Prevention

Trial Status

Open for Enrollment

Why is this study being done?

The primary aim of the pilot study is to provide data that can be used to better determine sample size for the design of a larger clinical trial. The pilot will evaluate the effectiveness of Lipoic Acid (LA) plus Omega-3 fatty acids (Omega-3) on preventing Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

Who is eligible to participate?

Anyone 55 years and older (male or female) currently being treated for hypertension.


Oregon Health & Science University researchers are expanding upon a pilot study that found that a combination of dietary supplements slows the cognitive and functional decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The results may help enable people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s to live independently.
The new clinical trial will involve 100 participants in Portland, Bend, Medford and Klamath Falls who will receive either a combination of lipoic acid and fish oil, or a placebo.

In addition, the OHSU research team will examine the effects of fish oil and lipoic acid on other factors – including diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease - which are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. “There is some evidence that lipoic acid improves insulin metabolism – or insulin resistance - in diabetics,” said Lynne Shinto, N.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine and lead investigator on the project.

The study is the first to consider the possible effects of insulin resistance on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Insulin plays a key role in  the body’s ability to extract a sugar called glucose, the body’s main source of energy from food. This could potentially be important in treating Alzheimer’s because the human brain uses large amounts of glucose.

The new clinical trial will also examine whether the fish oil and lipoic acid combination reduces inflammation, which can lead to brain atrophy.

Who to Contact

Andy Fraser, or 503 494-7240