Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fish Baked Or Broiled Reduces Alzheimer's Risk


Eating fish once a week is good for brain health, as well as lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment), researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine explained at the annual meeting of RSNA (Radiological Society of North America), Chicago, yesterday.


To broil means to cook by direct radiant heat, as one would under an electric element or over a grill.

To bake (in this text) means to cook with dry heat, e.g. to oven cook.

It is estimated that about 5.1 million people in the USA have Alzheimer's disease, says the National Institute on Aging. Mild cognitive impairment is sometimes the first step towards Alzheimer's.

Raji and team carried out a study on 260 cognitively healthy people from the Cardiovascular Health Study. They were given a questionnaire (National Cancer Institute Food Frequency Questionnaire) which included details on their fish consumption.

163 of the participants ate fish at least once a week, many of whom did so up to four times weekly. They all underwent a 3-D volumetric MRI brain scan. A brain mapping technique, called Voxel-based morphometry, was utilized to determine whether there might be a link between fish consumption at the start of the study and the structure of their brains a decade later.

The researchers gathered and analyzed data to find out whether the preservation of brain volume linked to eating fish might have an impact on Alzheimer's disease risk (reducing the risk). They took into account several factors which may have influenced the results, including participants' race, education, sex, age, levels of physical activity, as well as the presence of a gene that raises Alzheimer's risk (ApoE4, or apolipoprotein E4).

Brain health is closely linked to brain volume, the more brain volume you can preserve as you age, the better your long-term brain health. If the amount of gray matter starts to go down, it means the brain cells are shrinking.

The researchers found that those who ate baked or broiled fish at least once a week tended to have better preservation of volume in several brain areas, including the orbital frontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and hippocampus. Greater volume in these brain areas was found to be associated with a five-times lower risk of developing Alzheimer's or MCI.

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