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GIVE YOUR BRAIN A TUNA UP; Fish combat Alzheimer's.

Byline: Record Reporter

EATING fish, chicken and nuts may lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a study has found.

Researchers say foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids - including oily fish such as tuna - may be associated with lower blood levels of a protein linked to the illness and other memory problems.

Beta-amyloid clumps together in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, forming deposits that result in the destruction of nerve cells.

The team from Columbia University Medical Centre in New York studied the diets of 1219 over-65s for more than a year before testing their blood for beta-amyloid.

They found that the more omega-3 fatty acids people had in their diet, the lower their levels of the destructive protein.

Those who consumed a gram of omega-3 a day - equal to about half a fillet of salmon a week - had 20 to 30 per cent lower blood beta-amyloid levels.

TOXIC Dr Nikolaos Scarmeas, who led the study, said the results of the research would "strengthen our confidence on beneficial effects of parts of our diet in preventing dementia".

Meanwhile, scientists in the US have also identified a highly toxic protein described as the "real bad guy" behind Alzheimer's.

The molecule, a special type of beta-amyloid, "recruits" other less harmful proteins and makes them deadly to brain cells.

Knowing how this pyroglu beta-amyloid forms and behaves should lead to more effective Alzheimer's treatments.

Lead scientist Professor George Bloom, from the University of Virginia, said: "This is a very dangerous killer of brain cells and an attractive target for drug therapy."

One experimental drug to emerge from the research has already completed early clinical trials.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 3, 2012
Words:271
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