Week of November 6, 2006

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Minnesota

 

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World

Omega fatty acids to stop mental decline, says study

 A new placebo-controlled trial has reported that daily supplements of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids could slow mental decline in elderly people, adding to a growing body of evidence linking the fatty acid to better cognitive function.

 

Indeed, only recently scientists from the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge in Sweden reported that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, mainly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may slow mental decline in people with very mild Alzheimer's disease (Archives of Neurology, Vol. 63, pp. 1402-1408).  The new research, published in the October issue of the journal Neuroscience Research (Vol. 56, pp. 159-164), adds to the growing body of science that have linked regular intake of omega-3s to improved cognitive function, behavior and learning.

 

Moreover, brain concentrations of the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid (ARA), are also said to decrease naturally with aging, so supplementation may boost neuronal membrane levels.

 

“There were some reports suggesting the effect of omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA on cognitive functions in human subjects, but very few reports have focused on the effect of omega-6 fatty acids,” wrote lead author Susumu Kotani from the Japan Foundation for Aging and Health. “The present pilot study of ARA and DHA supplementation showed remarkable memory improvements in the human patients with organic brain lesion or mild cognitive impairment.”

 

The Japanese scientists recruited 21 patients with mild cognitive impairment (9 females, average age 68) and randomly assigned them to receive DHA plus ARA supplements or six placebo capsules per day (40 mg/capsule of olive oil).  Ten of the participants had been diagnosed with so-called organic brain lesions (hemorrhage or traumatic brain injuries), and eight had been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's disease (AD).

 

The mental function of the subjects was assessed at the start 

of the trial and then again after 90 days. Kotani and co-workers report that ARA plus DHA supplementation produced significant improvements in the immediate memory and attention RBANS scores (eight and five points, respectively). No effect on delayed memory was observed.

 

For the subjects with organic brain lesions taking the supplements were found to have the greatest improvements in immediate memory scores (10 points), while delayed memory scores were found to increase by 14 points for this subset.   No improvements were observed for the placebo groups or for the people with early Alzheimer’s disease who took the supplements.

 

“It is suggested from these data that ARA and DHA supplementation can improve the cognitive dysfunction due to organic brain damages or aging,” said Kotani.   The mechanism behind the supplement's effect on cognitive function seems to be specific to the type of omega oil, said the researchers.

 

“DHA might be directly involved in improvements not of the synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, but of the membrane function and regional cerebral blood flow,” they wrote.  Previous studies have proposed that DHA is involved in the membrane of ion channels in the brain, making it easier for them to change shape and transit electrical signals.

 

“It is likely that the improvement of cognitive functions after the ARA supplementation might be due to the improved membrane fluidity that can affect neurogenesis and/or synaptogenesis,” said the researchers.  More research is needed to investigate further the relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 intake and cognitive function, particularly in elderly people with healthy cognitive function and other populations.

 

The study was financially supported by the Japan Foundation for Ageing and Health, the Narishige Neuroscience Research Foundation, and the Japan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.


National

Coast Guard comment period ends Nov 13

One meeting date remains if you want to make any verbal comments or ask any questions of Coast Guard officials.

 

●  Nov. 8 - Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center, 107 North First Ave.,  Sturgeon Bay, WI

 

However, the public comment period doesn’t end until November 13, so get your written comments in one of the following ways:

By mail: Docket Mgmt Facility (USCG-2006-2567), USDOT, RM PL-401, 400 SW, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

By fax to: Docket Management Facility at (202) 493-2251.

By the web to: Docket Management System web site at http://dms.dot.gov.  Docket number 25767

By delivery to: Room PL-401 on the Plaza Level of the Nassif bldg, 400 Seventh St. SW, Washington, D.C., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  (202) 366-9329.

 


ASA Opposes Ban on Fish Shipments from Great Lakes

Association asks USDA to rescind order banning shipments

Alexandria, VA – November 2, 2006 – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) opposes the recent ban on interstate shipments of several species of live fish from the Great Lakes. In an October 24, 2006, letter to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Administrator, ASA asked that the ban be rescinded.

 

“The American Sportfishing Association strongly supports appropriate fish disease prevention and control programs,” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson, “but we are concerned that this Order was not developed and implemented with the full participation of all affected government authorities and the sportfishing industry on which the Order will have a significant economic impact. VHS has been present for at least four years in the Great Lakes and numerous authorities are currently taking steps to develop an effective and collaborative control program.”

 

Robertson further says, “Additionally, ASA is concerned that implementing a hasty and poorly coordinated Order impacting the major stakeholders and authorities with resource management responsibilities and major economic interests, does not advance sound resource management with the appropriate and effective controls.”

 

The purpose of the ban is to attempt to limit the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) to aquaculture facilities. To  

view the order and the list of species affected go to www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/aqua/. 

 

VHS is a saltwater virus and has been blamed for the deaths of several species of fish in the Great Lakes such as sheepshead, musky and round gobies. VHS has been present in the Great Lakes system for at least four years and the lack of consultation by APHIS prior to issuing the ban has caused great concern among Great Lakes states state fishery managers. Managers are addressing this problem through cooperative efforts through the multi-jurisdictional Great Lakes Fisheries Health Committee. 

 

The states affected are: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin. In addition, importation from the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec of the same species are not permitted.

 

Unless rescinded, the order, issued under the authority of the Animal Health Protection Act, will remain in effect until APHIS puts in place an Interim Rule that is expected to establish testing and certification criteria for susceptible species.  APHIS estimates publication of the Interim Rule to occur by spring 2007. 

 

The impacts of the ban could be far ranging because it affects trading of game fish species between state fishery agencies. There is also a significant impact on the bait fish market that depends on the interstate transport of a number of popular baitfish such as emerald shiners and fathead minnows.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Nov. 3, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

The water level in Lake Superior is currently 11 inches lower than it was a year ago, while levels in Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie , and Ontario are all higher than the previous year.  At this time, all of the lakes are in their period of seasonal decline.  Over the next month, the levels in Lakes Superior & Michigan-Huron are projected to fall 2 inches.  During this same period, the water levels in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are expected to decrease by 4 inches, while Lake Ontario is expected to drop 5 inches.  Over the next few months, Lake Superior is expected to remain below last year’s levels, while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are predicted to remain near or slightly above the water levels of a year ago. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be below average in November.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers also are expected to be below average during November.  Flow in the Niagara River, as well as the St. Lawrence River is expected to be

above average.

Alerts:

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Nov 3

600.7

577.3

573.8

571.3

245.4

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-5

-2

+18

+25

+25

Diff last month

-3

-2

+1

0

+2

Diff from last yr

-11

+1

+8

+7

+9


Lake Erie

Grant to fund 5-year study of Lake Erie `dead zones'

 ANN ARBOR, MI (AP). -- A $2.5 million grant will fund a five-year study of Lake Erie "dead zones" where there is little or no dissolved oxygen _ a condition that can kill fish and cause toxic algae blooms.

 

Researchers from University of Michigan and other universities, the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and 

Ecosystems Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will study possible causes. They said they hope the findings will allow them to detect the cause and stop the spread of the zones. Some suspect dead zones have been in the lake for hundreds of years.

 

The grant is from NOAA's Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research.


Illinois

Virus Poses No Threat to Human Health

Issues Alert to Public Regarding Fish Virus

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois DNR is alerting aquaculture operators, fish dealers and other fisheries interests to take precautionary measures in an effort to prevent the spread of a viral disease that is causing significant fish kills in some areas of the Great Lakes.

 

The viral disease known as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) affects a number of species of fish, but does not affect humans and poses no threat to human health.

 

“VHS was known to have killed trout and salmon on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in the past, but a new strain is causing mortalities in muskie, yellow perch, drum and other sport and non-sport fish in areas of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario,” said Scott Stuewe, chief of the IDNR Division of Fisheries. “Because VHS is proving lethal to species that are common in Lake Michigan and waterways, lakes and ponds in Illinois, every precaution must be taken to try to keep the disease from advancing into the state’s waters.”

 

IDNR has issued an alert targeted to aquaculture operators and fish dealers who move fish and fish eggs into and out of

the state. The alert has also been sent to university research personnel involved in fisheries projects that may require moving fish or fish eggs into the state. The IDNR alert suggests a limit on importation or shipment of fish from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

 

“We are also suggesting that bait dealers and anglers make every attempt not to move bait and fish from out of state into Illinois,” Stuewe said. “Just recently, fish with VHS were found in an inland lake in New York State, meaning the disease may have been carried into that area through the movement of bait fish or water from a live well or holding tank on a fishing boat.”

 

The IDNR alert suggests that all tanks, containers, and live wells that have held fish from infected waters should be disinfected.  IDNR is working with fish and wildlife agencies in the Great Lakes states and provinces and federal authorities in the U.S. and Canada to develop control strategies to limit the spread of VHS in fish.

 

“Like any new disease, until fish build up immunity to the virus, there will probably be large scale fish kills in areas where VHS is present,” Stuewe said. “We want to emphasize though, that there is no known threat to human health from this virus.”


Minnesota

Record 514 deer taken during Camp Ripley bow hunts

Hunters at Camp Ripley Military Reservation near Little Falls completed another successful hunt this past weekend and helped set a record harvest for 2006.

 

Archers harvested 243 deer during the weekend hunt and took at least six bucks weighing 200 lbs or more. There were 271 deer taken during the previous hunt (at least 10 bucks more

than 200 lbs), for a total of 514 deer harvested in 2005.

 

"This represents an 8 % increase over last year's take of 477 deer and is 6 percent higher than the previous record harvest of 484 deer set in 2004," said Beau Liddell, Minnesota DNR Little Falls area wildlife manager.

 

The largest buck taken during the weekend hunt weighed 220 lbs, taken by James Schuett of Pillager.


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