Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible condition, associated with memory loss, which eventually leads to dementia. Specialists found new manifestations related to the disease, which can be categorized as symptoms: weight loss and low body mass index (BMI). These are only signs meant to draw people’s attention on the matter.
Two important hospitals were involved in a recent study on the Alzheimer’s disease: Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Researchers discovered that elderly people who experience weight loss are prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the authors of the study, neurologist Gad Marshall, talks about the findings:
“Elevated cortical amyloid is believed to be the first stage of the preclinical form of Alzheimer’s disease, so our findings suggest that individuals who are underweight late in life may be at greater risk for this disease.”
A large part of the United States population suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and this is also one of the top ten death causes with Americans. Most of the victims are women, as the disease works so.
Doctor Gad Marshall further explains:
“Finding this association with a strong marker of Alzheimer’s disease risk reinforces the idea that being underweight as you get older may not be a good thing when it comes to your brain health.”
The data was gathered from tests carried on healthy people. The 280 participants were all more than 60 years old, and went through a series of tests, including brain scans and brain testing. However, scientists are not one hundred percent sure that any elderly person who experiences body weight loss is likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Doctor Gad Marshall comments on the association:
“A likely explanation for the association is that low BMI (body mass index) is an indicator for frailty – a syndrome involving reduced weight, slower movement and loss of strength that is known to be associated with Alzheimer’s risk.”
Doctor Gad Marchall, as well as other colleagues, feels the need of more in-depth analyses to be carried out. Officials also promise funds for further studies to be held, since they know how important such studies are. Researchers have not been able to identify causes of the disease yet, nor a proper cure.
For the time being, the study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital was published on August 3 and can be found in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease for those of you who want to take a closer look at the problem.
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