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Fish is Good for the Brain

US - Eating fish could be good for the brain, in reducing potential for dementia and stroke and memory loss, according to a new report.

The research, "Fish consumption and risk of subclinical brain abnormalities on MRI in older adults" published in the journal Neurology, looked at 3,660 participants aged 65 between 1992 and 1994.

The participants underwent an MRI scan and five years later 2,313 were scanned again.

Food frequency questionnaires were used to assess dietary intakes and participants with known cerebrovascular disease were excluded from the analyses.

"After adjustment for multiple risk factors, the risk of having one or more prevalent subclinical infarcts was lower among those consuming tuna/other fish 3 times/week, compared to <1/month," the research found.

"Tuna/other fish consumption was also associated with trends toward lower incidence of subclinical infarcts. Additionally, tuna/other fish intake was associated with better white matter grade, but not with sulcal and ventricular grades, markers of brain atrophy. No significant associations were found between fried fish consumption and any subclinical brain abnormalities," the research finding continues.

The researchers concluded: "Among older adults, modest consumption of tuna/other fish, but not fried fish, was associated with lower prevalence of subclinical infarcts and white matter abnormalities on MRI examinations. Our results add to prior evidence that suggest that dietary intake of fish with higher eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid content, and not fried fish intake, may have clinically important health benefits."

The research was carried out by J. K. Virtanen, PhD, RD, D. S. Siscovick, MD, MPH, W. T. Longstreth, Jr, MD, MPH, L. H. Kuller, MD, DrPH and D. Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH From the University of Kuopio (J.K.V.), School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Research Institute of Public Health, Finland; Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology (D.S.S.) and Department of Neurology (W.T.L.), University of Washington, Seattle; Department of Epidemiology (L.H.K.), University of Pittsburgh, PA; and Harvard Medical School (D.M.) and Harvard School of Public Health (J.K.V., D.M.), Boston, MA.