Carriers of an epsilon 4 allele (E4) of apolipoprotein E (APOE) develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) earlier than carriers of other APOE alleles. The metabolism of plasma docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), an omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 FA), taken up by the brain and concentrated in neurons, is disrupted in E4 carriers, resulting in lower levels of brain DHA. Behavioural and cognitive impairments have been observed in animals with lower brain DHA levels, with emphasis on loss of spatial memory and increased anxiety. E4 mice provided a diet deficient in n-3 FA had a greater depletion of n-3 FA levels in organs and tissues than mice carrying other APOE alleles. However, providing n-3 FA can restore levels of brain DHA in E4 animals and in other models of n-3 FA deficiency. In E4 carriers, supplementation with DHA as early as possible might help to prevent the onset of AD and could halt the progression of, and reverse some of the neurological and behavioural consequences of their higher vulnerability to n-3 FA deficiency.