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American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
– Shrinking brain volume is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease as well as normal aging; the hippocampus begins to atrophy before symptoms appear
– Levels of omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA in red blood cells tested in 1,111 women who were part of Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study
– 8 yrs later, when the women were an average age of 78, MRI scans were taken to measure brain volume
– Those with 2x as high levels of fatty acids (7.5 vs. 3.4%) had a 0.7% larger brain volume; they also had a 2.7% larger volume in the hippocampus area of the brain, which plays an important role in memory
– “These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and results suggest the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with aging by 1-2yrs,” said study author James V. Pottala, PhD, of the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls and Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc., in Richmond, Va.