Essential fatty acids (EFA) play a critical role in the brain and regulate many of the processes altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Technical advances are allowing for the dissection of complex lipid pathways in normal and diseased states. Arachidonic acid (AA) and specific isoforms of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) appear to be critical mediators in amyloid-beta (Abeta)-induced pathogenesis, leading to learning, memory, and behavioral impairments in mouse models of AD. These findings and ongoing research into lipid biology in AD and related disorders promise to reveal new pharmacological targets that may lead to better treatments for these devastating conditions.
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