Archive | February 2014

Omega 3 acids delay loss of neurons in old age


I recently found this article in the January issue of Neurology, or rather I was directed to this article by a Tweet!

A study by a team of scientists at the University of South Dakota have shown how people with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils, and which many people take as supplements, may also have larger brain volumes in old age. It is known that as we age we lose neurons which can lead to age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This study of 1,111 women shows that those who had the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids also had a 2.7% larger volume in the hippocampus area of the brain. The hippocampus of the brain is vital for memory and so these patients with higher levels of omega-3 would, by extension, suffer less from age related memory problems.

Cellular chameleons from breast cancer cause brain tumours

City of Hope researchers in the USA have shown a causal link between breast cancer cells and the development of brain tumours.

Cancer cells which had been growing uncontrollably had been shown to travel to the brain, in the bloodstream, where they grow into tumours in the brain after crossing the blood-brain barrier.

It is understandable to think, like I did, that the body’s immune system would simply destroy the cancer cells. However, the cancer cells masquerade as neurons in the brain to avoid detection. The cancer cells exploit the resources in the brain which allows them to proliferate.

What I find incredible about this study is that we are only starting to discover causal links between different cancers. Research such as this is not only scientifically interesting but can allow medical professionals to look for signs of brain tumours in breast cancer suffers and those who are in remission from cancer.