The World Health Organisation defines obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a health risk. A person with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight. To calculate your BMI, you would take your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters.
A new study conducted by UCL has suggested that obesity is associated with a higher risk of dementia up to 15 years later. The study suggested that weight management could play a significant role in reducing risk.
A further suggestion states that people who are obese in late adulthood could face a 31% increased risk of dementia. These figures were compared to those whose body mass index (BMI) is within the ‘normal’ range. Furthermore, the risk may be particularly higher for women than men.
Dr. Dorina Cadar (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) stated that both BMI and waist circumference status should be monitored to avoid metabolic dysregulations. Hence, reducing weight to optimal levels is recommended by adopting healthy and balanced patterns of eating, appropriate physical exercise and reduced alcohol consumption throughout the entire adult life span.
The Alzheimer’s Society has further researched the subject. Their research has found that being overweight has been linked to the weakening of a particular ‘pathway’ of white matter, called the fornix. The fornix connects an area of the brain essential to learning and memory, called the hippocampus, to other brain regions.
Damage and degeneration within the hippocampus is usually a primary symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, and so damage to connections with the hippocampus may be related to the disease development. Fornix health has also been suggested as a predictor for the development of mild cognitive impairment in older age.
We aim to keep up to date with the latest news if you would like to have a read of our other blogs take a look at Dementia Patient’s increased admissions, Wearable technology for Alzheimer’s and the Difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
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