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August

Eating fish may ward off dementia

24 August 2009

Research led by Dr. Emiliano Albanese from the Institute of Psychiatry has found evidence that older adults in Asia and Latin America were less likely to develop dementia if they regularly consumed fish. The study is one of the largest efforts to document a connection and the first such study undertaken in the developing world.

The study, which included 15,000 people 65 and older in China, India, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic, found that those who ate fish nearly every day were almost 20 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those who ate fish just a few days a week. Adults who ate fish a few days a week were almost 20 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those who ate no fish at all.

‘There is a gradient effect, so the more fish you eat, the less likely you are to get dementia,’ explained Dr Albanese, 'While we found the opposite trend for meat.’

Dr Albanese’s research is part of the 10/66 Group  a collective of researchers carrying out population-based research into dementia, non-communicable diseases and ageing in low and middle income countries. 10/66 refers to the two-thirds (66%) of people with dementia living in low and middle income countries, and the 10% or less of population-based research that has been carried out in those regions. 10/66 is a part of Alzheimer's Disease International, and is co-ordinated from the Institute of Psychiatry and led by Professor Martin Prince.

The study is published in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: http://www.ajcn.org/content/90/2/392.full.

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