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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13/F/411 Teagasc, (NUIG, UCC) €595,846

Project Title:

SMART FOOD - Science Based `Intelligent'/Functional and Medical Foods for Optimum Brain Health, Targeting Depression and Cognition.

Project Coordinator:

Prof Catherine Stanton

Project Abstract

This proposal aims to investigate the potential of marine-algal-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and marine polyphenols as dietary ingredients with efficacy to enhance mental health and cognition. Cognitive impairment may be a feature of major depression, which is recognised as a risk factor for age-related dementia. Incidence of depression is increasing substantially worldwide and is predicted to be the second leading cause of disability by 2020 (WHO). Novel strategies, both social and biological, to prevent depression are urgently needed. Recent preclinical and some clinical data suggest that nutrition may reduce depressive symptoms and alleviate cognitive decline, but scientific substantiation of efficacious dietary components is required. This project will involve in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies to determine the role of omega-3 PUFA and phytochemicals of marine origin in mood regulation. We propose to use a combination of omega-3 PUFA and sea polyphenols exhibiting antioxidant activity, as a nutritional supplement strategy in an animal model of depression, and should we get positive results, we will unravel the biological mechanisms. The results of this project will lead to functional food ingredients for prevention of depression, and medical foods to increase the potency of conventional antidepressants drugs.

Final Report:

Not available yet.