While dementia and Alzheimer’s disease retain their ability to strike fear into patients and their families, researchers are developing more efficient clues for predicting the onset of these brain disorders. And early detection remains key to delaying and controlling the progression of these life- and family-changing diagnoses.
Older people (average age of participants in the study was 72 years) who are thinner or are losing weight quickly are at a higher risk of developing dementia, especially if they started out overweight or obese, according to a report published in the May 19, 2009 print issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In addition, those who lost weight at a faster rate over the eight year study were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia than those who lost weight more slowly over time.
The study reflects the idea that in middle age, obesity may be a risk factor for dementia, while in later life it may be one of the first changes that occurs before dementia actually affects a person’s memory.
To learn more: http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/05/090518161110.htm
In a 2008 report in the March 26, 2008 online issue of Neurology, researcher Rachel A. Whitmer, Ph.D. from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, reported that people with larger stomachs in their 40s are more likely to have dementia when they reach their 70s. In her study of 6,583 people age 40 to 45 in Northern California who had their abdominal fat measured, an average of 36 years later, those who were overweight and had a large belly were 2.3 times more likely to develop dementia than people with a normal weight and belly size.
To learn more: http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/03/080326161721.htm
(Dr. Flynn posted this because of my belly….)