People who include seafood in their weekly diets have lower risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease, state researchers at Rush University in Chicago. This study included 286 autopsied brains of 554 deceased participants whose average age at death was 89.9 years. Seafood intake had been first measured by a food frequency questionnaire at an average of 4.5 years before death and then repeated annually until death. Results showed that mercury levels positively correlated with seafood intake, but were not correlated with increased levels of brain neuropathology. In fact, as seafood intake went up, risk for Alzheimer’s disease decreased, including fewer neuritic plaques, less severe and widespread neurofibrillary tangles, and lower neuropathologically defined Alzheimer disease. The researchers conclude that these findings suggest, “..that seafood can be consumed without substantial concern of mercury contamination diminishing its possible cognitive benefit in older adults.”
Morris M, Brockman J, Schneider J, et al: Association of seafood consumption, brain mercury level, and APOE e4 status with brain neuropathology in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association 2016; 315:489-497.