13) Effects of Docosahexaenoic Acid on Neurotransmission

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the brain and a structural component of neuronal membranes. Changes in DHA content of neuronal membranes lead to functional changes in the activity of receptors and other proteins which might be associated with synaptic function. Accumulating evidence suggests the beneficial effects of dietary DHA supplementation on neurotransmission

DHA is a major structural component of gray matter neuronal membranes. At the subcellular level, the highest concentration of DHA is found in synaptic membranes followed by mitochondria and microsomes (Scott and Bazan, 1989)”.

“The developing brain or hippocampal neurons take up DHA and incorporates it into membrane phospholipids especially phosphatidyl ethanolamine, resulting in neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis and neurogenesis”.

Multiple mechanisms of action can be associated with the Neuroprotective effects of DHA, including anti-oxidant properties and activation of distinct cell signaling path.