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Regular intake of fish oil reduces brain damage and decrease in cognitive skills


A new study has found that regular consumption of fish oil reduces the rate at which Alzheimer’s disease progresses and also delays the onset of problems related to cognitive functions.

Alzheimer’s disease is a process of neurodegeneration wherein nerve connections are gradually broken down. This results in disorientation, loss of motor skills and memory loss. And the scary fact is that the scientific world has predicted that about 135 million people could be affected by this disease in the future. Statistics show that at least one person is diagnosed with this dreadful disease every minute and despite the great efforts of the medical community there are only limited treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is becoming quite prevalent among senior citizens. It is estimated that more than five million Americans are living with this condition as of 2014.

Intake of fish oil capsules is indeed very good for health. Though the claim by medical practitioners that supplements of fish oil reduce heart disease is contested as there is no conclusive proof, but there is no divided opinion that fish oil capsules increase brain functions. A recent study has given positive result about the fact that there is a very positive effect on the brain when fish oil capsules are consumed on a consistent basis.

The effect of fish oil on cognitive skills was assessed using neuropsychological tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging. The normal cognitive abilities of these individuals were checked every six months. All the participants who took part in these tests were participants in the Alzheimer’s disease Neuroimaging initiative (ADNI) study. The study included 297 people that had normal cognitive functions along with 397 patients who were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and 193 with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The Alzheimer’s disease Assessment Scale and the Mini Mental State Exam found that the participants who consumed fish oil supplements regularly during the study period experienced lesser rates of cognitive decline. This was found to be true in case of participants who did not have dementia or forgetfulness at the start of the study.

The serial brain imaging conducted during the study showed that the participants with normal cognition that also consumed fish oil supplements had lesser level of brain shrinkage in key neurological areas when compared to participants that did not consume fish oil capsules.

According to the principal investigator Lori Daiello the positive findings where found only on people who did not carry genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
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