CHICAGO (CBS) — There is a good reason to put fish on the menu, according to research presented at the Chicago meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Dr. Cyrus Raji of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says his research has, for the first time, established a direct link between fish consumption, brain structure, and Alzheimer’s risk.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

“Individuals in the study who consumed fish on a weekly basis, most often between one to four times a week, had larger brain volumes in areas that are responsible for memory and learning,” Raji said.

The study involved 260 cognitively normal people, of whom 163 ate fish on a weekly basis, and of whom more than half ate fish multiple times per week. Each patient underwent an MRI test to measure brain gray matter volume, which was used to model the relationship between weekly fish consumption and a model of the brain structure 10 years later.

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The conclusion was that those who ate fish regularly had a larger volume of gray matter. The greater volume reduced the risk declining to Alzheimer’s, a news release said.

But the benefit doesn’t apply with every conceivable preparation; only baked or broiled fish.

“Many people might want to prefer eating fried fish, but in our study, we didn’t find any benefit to the brain,” Raji said.

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The reason, he explained, is that fried fish lacks the high levels of omega-3 oils that help prevent brain deterioration.