Eating fish may boost brain health
It’s well known that fish is good for you. Now, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine confirms that fish boosts brain health and may help prevent neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scanned the brains of 260 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study—a larger 10-year heart health study—who recorded their dietary intake and had normal brain health. The participants noted how often they ate fish and how it was prepared. Baked and broiled fish have more omega-3 fatty acids than fried fish because they are destroyed by the fryer’s high heat.
The researchers found people who ate baked or broiled fish once a week exhibited larger brain volumes in areas linked to memory by 4.3 percent and those linked to cognition by 14 percent. People who ate fish were also more likely to have a college education.
It’s often thought that the high amount of omega-3s in fish benefits brain health. But the study noted it did not find a direct connection between consumption of omega-3s and brain changes. This led researchers to believe it’s a combination of lifestyle factors that affects brain health, rather than simply biological ones.
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Sourced from: sciencedaily.com, Eating baked, broiled fish weekly boosts brain health, study says
Published On: Aug 5th 2014
Loud noises affect how brain processes speech
Blasting music doesn’t just hurt your hearing—it may actually affect your brain. A new study suggests that listening to sounds above 85 decibels not only increases a person’s risk for hearing loss, but also appears to change how their brain processes speech.
It’s long been known that frequent exposure to loud noises, such as music, can permanently damage hair cells in the ear. These hairs receive sound and convert the energy into sound signals to the brain. Eventually, the hairs don’t regrow, causing permanent hearing loss.
Researchers from University of Texas at Dallas analyzed the effects of hearing loss on rats. One group of rats was exposed to high-frequency noise at 115 decibels. The second group was exposed to low-frequency noise at 124 decibels. The first group suffered moderate hearing loss. The second group, however, suffered severe hearing loss.
A month after the initial experiment, the researchers found that both types of hearing loss affected brain circuits in the auditory cortex and how the animals processed speech sounds. This area of the brain is tied to understanding and processing sound. It’s similar to a piano scale—brain cells at one end respond to low-frequency sound and brain cells on the other end respond to high-frequency sound.
In the group of rats with severe hearing loss, fewer than one-third of the auditory cortex sites reacted to sound. When the brain cells did respond to noise, it was slowly and with loud sounds in narrow frequency ranges. This group of rats also had difficulty distinguishing a speech task that they had performed before the experiment.
The same results were not seen in the group of rats with moderate hearing loss. They did complete the speech task, although they did react to sounds more slowly and need more stimulation to hear high-frequency sounds than rats with normal hearing.
The study results were published in Ear and Hearing.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Loud noises change how brain processes speech
Published On: Aug 5th 2014