Fat hormone linked to Alzheimer’s disease

December 16th, 2009 - 11:41 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Washington, Dec 16 (THAINDIAN NEWS) According to a new medical study, a hormone that helps to prevent over-eating may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from Boston University Medical Center in the US discovered that high leptin of levels may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

This hormone leptin is made by the fat cells and it informs the brain that the body is now full, so the appetite can be reduced. It is a very good ally in the treatment of obesity.

According to reports, the occurrence of dementia decreased gradually across increasing levels of leptin: a person with a baseline leptin level in the lowest quartile group had a 25 percent risk of developing AD after 12 years of follow-up, whereas the corresponding risk for a person in the top quartile group was only 6 percent. And higher leptin levels were also associated with higher total cerebral brain volume. Lower temporal horn volume was not significantly related to leptin levels.

Earlier studies on this topic have clarified that overweight and obesity in mid-life are associated with poorer cognitive function in the general population and an increased risk of dementia. There has been evidence that leptin exerts additional functions on the brain outside the hypothalamus (a region of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst), according to background information in the article.

“People in the highest quartile of leptin had only a 6 percent risk of developing dementia over this time over a 12-year period, whereas people in the lowest quartile had a 25 percent risk of developing dementia,” said senior study author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, an associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine.

“If our findings are confirmed by others, leptin levels in older adults may serve as one of several possible biomarkers for healthy brain ageing and, more importantly, may open new pathways for possible preventive and therapeutic intervention,” added Dr. Seshadri.

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