PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A new study is naming seafood as something that can help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Lots of people are eating more seafood because of its health benefits, but seafood also contains Mercury which contains neurotoxins.
A first of its kind study weighed the benefits of seafood against the harms of Mercury, among a group of 286 elderly people. In the study, they kept food diaries and agreed for their brains to be examined after their death.
"All participants in the study were evaluated on an annual basis so that we could diagnose the development of neurological diseases and dementia, as well as other diets," said Dr. Martha Clare Morris, of the Rush University Medical Center.
Those who ate seafood once a week, or more, had higher levels of Mercury in the brain, but the rates of Alzheimer's were lower disease, for those with a genetic risk for dementia.
"The increased level of seafood consumption did not increase brain levels of Mercury, but that the Mercury didn't appear to have an impact on brain health," Dr. Morris said.
It's estimated about 30 percent of the population has the Alzheimer's genetic risk but, researchers say, seafood still helps to protect the brain in people who don't have that gene.
"Seafood consumption may have benefits for reducing one's risk of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Morris.
The research from the Journal of the American Medical Association covered all kinds of seafood. Experts say fatty-fish like salmon, can be especially helpful in protecting against cognitive decline.
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