Low blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with smaller brain volume and poorer performance on tests of mental acuity, even in people without apparent dementia, according to a new study.
In the analysis, published online Monday in the journal Neurology, scientists examined 1,575 dementia-free men and women whose average age was 67. The researchers analyzed the fatty acids of the subjects’ red blood cells, a more reliable measurement than a plasma blood test or an estimate based on diet. They used an M.R.I. scan to measure brain volume and white matter hyperintensities, a radiological finding indicative of vascular damage.
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