Old Age

A study find old Age people over 60 who put on or shed more than 10% of their BMI over two years are 20% more likely to develop the memory-robbing disorder. Obesity has link to inflammation, which may trigger cognitive decline, the researchers claim. And weight loss may be a sign of another underlying condition; which has its own link to dementia, such as heart disease or cancer, they add. The research was carry out by Kyungpook National University in South Korea and led by Professor Jin-Won Kwon, of the college of pharmacy.

The healthy lifestyle

Our results suggest that continuous weight control; so disease management and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle are beneficial in the prevention of dementia, even in later life. Dementia is a global health concern that is set to get worse as we continue to live for longer. Meanwhile, the global prevalence of obesity has increase by more than 100% over the past four decades.

Because dementia is an irreversible, progressive condition; so studies have focus on how to prevent it, with many pointing to BMI. Obesity in middle age has been link to cognitive decline, however, studies that show how excess weight may cause dementia have been inconsistent. Dementia is an umbrella term use to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s. It is estimate that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million. In the US, it’s estimate there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expect in the coming years.

To uncover how weight change in later life affects someone’s dementia risk; so the researchers analyse 67,219 people aged between 60 and 79. The participants were randomly select from the National Health Insurance Service Health Screening Cohort (NHIS-HEALS); which is made up of almost 10% of Koreans.

The vital organ

After an average of five years, 4,887 of the male and 6,685 of the female participants had develop dementia. Results reveal the men who gain more than 10% of their BMI were 25% more at risk of the memory-robbing disorder, while the women’s odds rose by 17%. And the men and women who lost more than 10% of their BMI were 26 and 15% more likely to develop dementia, respectively.

This in turn could lead to lesions, small areas of dead tissue and cell degeneration in the vital organ. On top of weight change, high cholesterol and blood pressure were also associate with dementia’s onset. Stock. Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking were also associate with an increase risk of dementia; while exercising at least three times a week lower the odds.

Diabetics with high fasting blood-sugar levels were up to 60% more likely to develop the memory robbing condition.  Perhaps surprisingly, drinking at least three times a week only raise the risk among the male participants. The researchers claim future studies should look at how the type, frequency and amount of liquor affects a person’s dementia risk.