Alzheimer’s Risk Doesn’t Rise With Mercury Levels in Seafood, Study Reports

Alzheimer’s Risk Doesn’t Rise With Mercury Levels in Seafood, Study Reports
While there is abundant evidence that seafood consumption protects from the development of dementia, little is known about the effects of mercury — a heavy metal present in seafood — on the risk of Alzheimer's disease. A new study shows that seafood mercury does not at all alter disease risk in older adults. Mercury is a neurotoxic substance that accumulates in biological tissues and is particularly present in aquatic animals. In fact, seafood is the main source of human mercury exposure. The research team, led by Martha Clare Morris at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, examined if seafood consumption was correlated to mercury levels in the brain and whether any of the factors — seafood consumption or brain mercury — could be associated with neuropathology. The team examined brain tissue from 286 diseased individuals from the Memory and Aging Project,  a clinical neuropathological cohort study. All participants had answered questions about the frequency of seafood intake in a food frequency questionnaire. The mean age at death was 90 years and the average time between questionnaire and death was 4.5 years. Results, reported in the journal JAMA under the title "Association of Seafood Consumption, Brain Mercury Level, and APOE ε4 Status With Brain Neuropathology in Older Adults," showed that brain mercury increased with increased consumption of seaf
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