Forgetting to eat can thin out Alzheimer’s victims

November 22nd, 2011 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 22 (IANS) Old people afflicted with the Alzheimer’s may forget to eat and eventually lose weight, a new study reveals.

Being fat in middle age could bring on Alzheimer’s during old age, said scientists of Kansas University, US, in a research paper.

Those who are overweight or obese in middle age are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s because of a variety of medical factors - or due to “heterogeneous pathophysiology”, according to the journal Neurology.

Researchers say that one explanation for the paradox is “a long pre-clinical phase”, which can induce changes in the brain without outward signs, and “accelerated weight loss”, the Telegraph reported.

“Alzheimer’s disease related neurodegenerative brain changes may influence body composition,” the daily said.

Possible ways Alzheimer’s could lead to weight loss are by making people forget to eat and by reducing the degree of physical activity they take, which could worsen if the calorie intake is lower.

“As yet it is unclear whether a low body mass index (BMI, or height to weight ratio) is actually part of Alzheimer’s, or a side effect caused by the disease,” said Anne Corbett, researcher at Alzheimer’s Society.

“What we do know is that living well will reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Society recommends people eat healthily and exercise regularly,” she added.

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