Weekly consumption of fresh fish can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults, despite the high mercury content in them. This is the outcome of a recent US study carried out by Researchers from Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago.
The researchers relied on data from memory and aging research project which was tracking a group of older people living in Chicago retirement homes from 2004 to 2013, reports Live Mint.
The team of researchers kept a regular tab of the amount of fish and seafood consumed by them. An autopsy was carried out on them after their death to see how it affected their brain. The researchers also found out that the mercury content was higher in people who ate more seafood. However, those who ate seafood one or more times a week also had less Alzheimer’s-related brain pathology, such as plaques or neurofibrillary tangles, compared to those who ate little or no seafood.
Among the 286 autopsied brains of 544 participants, brain mercury levels were positively correlated with the number of seafood meals consumed per week (ρ = 0.16; P = .02).”
The study, which was published in JAMA, was aimed at establishing the belief that seafood consumption correlated with lesser Alzheimer disease neuropathology.
“In cross-sectional analyses, moderate seafood consumption was correlated with lesser Alzheimer disease neuropathology. Although seafood consumption was also correlated with higher brain levels of mercury, these levels were not correlated with brain neuropathology.”
While various studies have found protective relationships between seafood consumption and dementia, according to the study; not much is known about the relationship between seafood consumption and brain neuropathology.
The publication also examined the “associations of dementia neuropathologies with dietary n-3 fatty acids and with brain levels of mercury and selenium,” due to the fact that seafood is high in the long-chain n-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid.
Alzheimer is a kind of disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia, which is set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties within thinking, problem-solving or language.
Some of the symptoms that occur when the brain is damaged by certain disease could include the Alzheimer disease.
The disease was named after Alois Alzheimer, the doctor who first described it as a physical disease that affects the brain. During the course of Alzheimer, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles.’
Some of the common symptoms associated with the disease include; memory lapses, difficulty recalling recent events and learning new information, forget about recent conversation, get lost in a usually familiar place, forget appointments, and others. However, since everyone is unique, these symptoms may not manifest in certain individual.
Age remains the biggest risk factor for the disease as it mainly affects individuals over 65. A person above this age is exposed to further risk of getting the disease as it doubles approximately every five years.
Though, not immediately known, there exists about twice as many women as men over 65 with Alzheimer’s disease.