Eating fish can stave off dementia, says Dutch researcher

Fish for dinner (Photo: Wikimedia Commons). (Fish for dinner (Photo: Wikimedia Commons))

Eating at least one portio of fish per week decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia related disorders, according to a study done by an international team of researchers, including Ondine van de Rest of Wageningen University, at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, NU reports.

For the study the researchers followed elderly in the Chicago area since 1997, mapping their eating habits and other lifestyle factors. 286 participants' brains were examined for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found fewer markers of these diseases in the brains of the elderly people who eat fish at least once a week than in the group who ate no or little fish.

"This is the first study in which we were actually able to examine the brains of subjects for the presence of markers of dementia and Alzheimer's disease", Van de Rest said. "that gives an objective look at the association with fish consumption."

Remarkably, the link between fish and dementia was present only in carriers of a particular gene that may lead to a greater risk of Alzheimer's or dementia. A further study should determine whether eating fish actually has a beneficial effect for people with this genetic predisposition.