Food in the Menu of the Crab Festival at Restaurants of the Sushiro Chain in Japan

Sushi

Side

Ramen

Halibut and Spinach with Orange Pine Nut Vinaigrette

Ingredients

4 (5 to 6 oz) skinless halibut fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
2 (6 oz) bags fresh baby spinach

Orange Pine Nut Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp very fine chopped shallots
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup pine nut, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, honey, tarragon, and orange zest with a fork to combine (but not emulsify). Stir in the pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then add the halibut and cook, without moving it,for about 3 minutes, or until deep golden brown on the underside. Turn the halibut over and cook for about 3 minutes more, or just until it is barely opaque in the center when flaked with the tip of a small knife.Transfer to a plate.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until they just begin to soften.
  4. Add the spinach in batches and stir for about 1 minute, or just until it begins to wilt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the spinach among four dinner plates. Top each with a fillet.
  6. Spoon the vinaigrette over the fillets and spinach mixture. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: What’s for Dinner

In Pictures: Home-cooked Whitefish Dishes

Test Given at 8 May Predict Your Brain Health in Old Age

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

If you were good with words and puzzles at age 8, you’re likely to fare well on tests of mental acuity at age 70, too.

That’s among the findings of a new study that followed the thinking abilities of a group of Britons born in the 1940s. Researchers found that their performance on standard cognitive tests at age 8 predicted their performance around age 70. People who scored in the top quarter as kids were likely to remain in that bracket later in life.

“Cognition” refers to our ability to pay attention, process information, commit things to memory, to reason and to solve problems.

And it’s no surprise, experts said, that there is a correlation between childhood and adulthood skills.

However, no one is saying that your brain-health destiny is set in childhood, according to senior researcher Dr. Jonathan Schott, a professor of neurology at University College London.

In this study, for example, education also mattered. Older adults who’d gone further in their formal education tended to score higher, regardless of their test performance as children.

A number of past studies have linked higher education levels to a lower risk of dementia. And the new findings bolster that evidence, said Rebecca Edelmayer, director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“It’s really unique to have data like this, from a cohort that was followed for 60 years,” said Edelmayer, who was not involved in the study.

Why would education matter in dementia risk? It’s not certain, but Dr. Glen Finney, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, explained the “cognitive reserve” theory: Dementia is marked by the buildup of abnormal proteins known as “plaques” and “tangles.” In people with more education, the brain might be better equipped to compensate for such damage, allowing it to function normally for a longer period.

It’s also thought that mental engagement later in life might hold similar benefits. That could mean “challenging yourself to learn something completely new” — like studying an instrument or a foreign language, said Finney, who directs the Geisinger Health System’s Memory and Cognition Program in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was also not part of the study.

Beyond education, Finney noted, there is a body of evidence that other lifestyle factors are important in healthy brain aging. Blood pressure control is one, he said.

Finney pointed to a recent clinical trial finding that intensive treatment of high blood pressure lowered older adults’ risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.

That refers to subtler problems with memory and thinking that may precede dementia.

In general, the same things that protect the heart — exercise, controlling cholesterol and blood sugar, and a healthy diet — are also believed to be good for the brain, Edelmayer said.

“We just don’t know yet what the best recipe is for [dementia] risk reduction,” she said.

The current findings were published in Neurology. They’re based on more than 500 U.K. adults born in 1946. When they were 8 years old, they took tests of reading comprehension and other skills. When they were around age 70, they were tested for skills like memory and information processing.

They also underwent PET scans to detect any buildup of plaques in the brain.

It turned out that among participants who tested “cognitively normal,” about 18% did have signs of plaques in their brains. And on average, their test scores were lower, versus participants with no evidence of plaques.

That does not mean those people are destined to develop dementia, Edelmayer pointed out.

However, the findings do support a growing belief among researchers, according to Schott.

The fact that plaques exert subtle influences on mental performance even in people without symptoms is noteworthy. This “provides more evidence for the growing view that when disease-modifying therapies become available, they may have maximum benefits when given very early — and ideally prior to symptom onset,” Schott said.

How would that be done? In the future, Edelmayer said, it might be possible to use certain biological “markers” — such as plaques seen in brain scans — to identify people who are on a trajectory toward dementia.

“But we’re not there yet,” she stressed. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — a number that is expected to balloon to nearly 14 million by 2050.

Source: HealthDay

Deep Sleep May ‘Rinse’ Day’s Toxins From Brain

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

The deep stages of sleep may give the brain a chance to wash itself free of potentially toxic substances, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that during deep sleep, the “slow-wave” activity of nerve cells appears to make room for cerebral spinal fluid to rhythmically move in and out of the brain — a process believed to rinse out metabolic waste products.

Those waste products include beta-amyloid — a protein that clumps abnormally in the brains of people with dementia, said researcher Laura Lewis, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University.

Lewis stressed that the findings, reported in the Nov. 1 issue of Science, do not prove that deep sleep helps ward off dementia or other diseases.

But the ultimate goal of research like this is to understand why poor sleep quality is linked to higher risks of various chronic conditions, from dementia to heart disease to depression, she said.

Researchers have known that cerebral spinal fluid, or CSF, helps clear metabolic byproducts from the brain, so that they do not build up there. They’ve also known that the process appears to amp up during sleep. But various “hows” and “whys” remained.

So the investigators recruited 11 healthy adults for a sleep study using noninvasive techniques: advanced MRI to monitor fluid flow in the brain, and electroencephalograms to gauge electrical activity in brain cells.

Sleep is marked by REM and non-REM cycles. During REM sleep, breathing and heart rates are relatively higher, and people often have vivid dreams. Non-REM sleep includes stages of deep — or slow-wave — sleep. During those stages, there’s a slow-down in brain cell activity, heart rate and blood flow, and research has found that deep sleep may aid memory consolidation and allow the brain to recover from the daily grind.

“There are all these fundamental things your brain is taking care of during deep sleep,” Lewis said.

Her team found that housecleaning may be one. When study participants were in deep sleep, each pulse in slow-wave brain activity was followed by oscillations in blood flow and volume, which allowed CSF to flow into fluid-filled cavities in the central brain.

CSF moved in “large, pulsing waves” that were seen only during deep sleep, Lewis explained.

Based on what’s known about the work of CSF, experts said it’s reasonable to conclude that slow-wave sleep promotes the flushing of waste from the brain.

The study “elegantly” illustrates the importance of deep sleep, according to Dr. Phyllis Zee, a sleep medicine specialist not involved in the work.

It “helps to explain how and why sleep is important for keeping neurons healthy — facilitating the removal of toxic molecules,” said Zee, a professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

“One can think of sleep as a top way to take care of your brain,” she said.

Another sleep medicine specialist agreed. “There is growing evidence, with this study and others, that sleep plays a role in clearing toxins from the brain,” said Dr. Raman Malhotra, an associate professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Other research has suggested that sleep loss can promote the buildup of “unwanted proteins” in the brain, said Malhotra, who also serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

A recent government study, for instance, found that one night of sleep deprivation triggered an increase in beta-amyloid in the brains of healthy adults.

“As we learn more about this role of sleep,” Malhotra said, “it may help explain why individuals who don’t get enough sleep, or suffer from sleep disorders, are at higher risk of certain chronic health conditions.”

The latest study involved younger adults with no health problems. Lewis said that it will be important to find out whether healthy older adults, or people with certain health conditions, show any differences in CSF dynamics during deep sleep.

A big question for future research, she said, will be whether alterations in those dynamics precede the development of disease.

Source: HealthDay


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