Caregiver's Home Companion Caring for someone who has trouble hearing the phone?
 HOME PAGE  SEARCH Go

Posted: August 19, 2008

Eating Fish May Prevent Memory Loss and Stroke in Old Age

Eating tuna and other types of fish may help lower the risk of cognitive decline and stroke in healthy older adults, according to an international study published in the journal Neurology. The benefit appears isolated to fish that’s broiled or baked, rather than fried.

 

For the study, 3,660 people age 65 and older underwent brain scans to detect silent brain infarcts, or small lesions in the brain that can cause a loss of thinking skills or lead to stroke or dementia. Scans were performed again five years later on 2,313 of the participants. The people involved in the study were also given questionnaires about fish in their diets.

advertisement
Drive Longer, Stay Independent
 

The study found that people who ate broiled or baked tuna and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (called DHA and EPA) three times or more per week had a nearly 26% lower risk of having the silent brain lesions that can cause dementia and stroke compared to people who did not eat fish regularly. Eating just one serving of this type of fish per week led to a 13% lower risk. The study also found people who regularly ate these types of fish had fewer changes in the white matter in their brains.

 

“While eating tuna and other types of fish seems to help protect against memory loss and stroke, these results were not found in people who regularly ate fried fish,” said Jyrki Virtanen, PhD, RD, with the University of Kuopio in Finland. “More research is needed as to why these types of fish may have protective effects, but the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA would seem to have a major role.”

 

Types of fish that contain high levels of DHA and EPA nutrients include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies.

 

“Previous findings have shown that fish and fish oil can help prevent stroke, but this is one of the only studies that looks at fish’s effect on silent brain infarcts in healthy, older people,” said Virtanen. Research shows that silent brain infarcts, which are only detected by brain scans, are found in about 20% of otherwise healthy elderly people.

 

The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Helsingin Sanomat Centennial Foundation, the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation and the University of Kuopio.

Email or share this story Bookmark and Share

Search CaregiversHome
Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.

© 2008 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

_____

View The Caregiver's Hotline in which this article first appeared

Back to Top

Privacy Statement Contact Us Site Map Products & Services Our Partners Advertise
© Copyright 2003-2020. Pederson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.