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    1 Comment for this article
    Neuropathology
    Dr Areli K Cuevas-Ocampo, ConsultanNeuropathologist | North Bristol Trust NHS
    Super interesting article!

    Was the neuropathologist who was 'blinded' to participants' clinical info mentioned in the methodology actually the author, Dr Schneider? Do you remember seeing other brain abnormalities (not necessarily related to the AD and other neurodegenerative diseases criteria) in these brains, like increased inflammation or something out of place possibly attributable to the mercury and selenium toxicity in the frontal and temporal lobes?

    Thank you!
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
    Original Investigation
    February 2, 2016

    Association of Seafood Consumption, Brain Mercury Level, and APOE ε4 Status With Brain Neuropathology in Older Adults

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Section on Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    • 2Missouri University Research Reactor, Columbia
    • 3Rush Alzheimer Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    • 4Department of Neurology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    • 5Department of Pathology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    • 6Department of Clinical Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    • 7Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands
    JAMA. 2016;315(5):489-497. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.19451
    Abstract

    Importance  Seafood consumption is promoted for its many health benefits even though its contamination by mercury, a known neurotoxin, is a growing concern.

    Objective  To determine whether seafood consumption is correlated with increased brain mercury levels and also whether seafood consumption or brain mercury levels are correlated with brain neuropathologies.

    Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional analyses of deceased participants in the Memory and Aging Project clinical neuropathological cohort study, 2004-2013. Participants resided in Chicago retirement communities and subsidized housing. The study included 286 autopsied brains of 554 deceased participants (51.6%). The mean (SD) age at death was 89.9 (6.1) years, 67% (193) were women, and the mean (SD) educational attainment was 14.6 (2.7) years.

    Exposures  Seafood intake was first measured by a food frequency questionnaire at a mean of 4.5 years before death.

    Main Outcomes and Measures  Dementia-related pathologies assessed were Alzheimer disease, Lewy bodies, and the number of macroinfarcts and microinfarcts. Dietary consumption of seafood and n-3 fatty acids was annually assessed by a food frequency questionnaire in the years before death. Tissue concentrations of mercury and selenium were measured using instrumental neutron activation analyses.

    Results  Among the 286 autopsied brains of 544 participants, brain mercury levels were positively correlated with the number of seafood meals consumed per week (ρ = 0.16; P = .02). In models adjusted for age, sex, education, and total energy intake, seafood consumption (≥ 1 meal[s]/week) was significantly correlated with less Alzheimer disease pathology including lower density of neuritic plaques (β = −0.69 score units [95% CI, −1.34 to −0.04]), less severe and widespread neurofibrillary tangles (β = −0.77 score units [95% CI, −1.52 to −0.02]), and lower neuropathologically defined Alzheimer disease (β = −0.53 score units [95% CI, −0.96 to −0.10]) but only among apolipoprotein E (APOE ε4) carriers. Higher intake levels of α-linolenic acid (18:3 n-3) were correlated with lower odds of cerebral macroinfarctions (odds ratio for tertiles 3 vs 1, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.27 to 0.94]). Fish oil supplementation had no statistically significant correlation with any neuropathologic marker. Higher brain concentrations of mercury were not significantly correlated with increased levels of brain neuropathology.

    Conclusions and Relevance  In cross-sectional analyses, moderate seafood consumption was correlated with lesser Alzheimer disease neuropathology. Although seafood consumption was also correlated with higher brain levels of mercury, these levels were not correlated with brain neuropathology.

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