Obesity link to Dementia

July 28, 2020

What is Dementia? 

The NHS defines Dementia as a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain function. Therefore, Dementia is not only about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave. It’s also important to remember that dementia is not a natural part of ageing. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Each year In the UK around 60% of diagnoses of dementia are Alzheimer’s. It can affect any age, but it is rare for anyone under the age of 65.

What is Obesity? 

The World Health Organisation defines obesity as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A person with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight. In order to calculate your BMI, you would take your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. 

How is Obesity linked to Dementia? 

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 course of the entire adult life span.

The Alzheimer’s Society has further conducted research on 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 Patients increased admissions, Wearable technology for Alzheimers and the Difference between Alzheimers and Dementia.

How can Cavendish Homecare help? 

As one of the leading providers of Dementia Homecare in the UK, we pride ourselves on offering superior levels of support as and when it’s needed. Our combined years of experience within the NHS and private healthcare sector means we know how to work closely with multidisciplinary teams to ensure the focus remains on ensuring the patient can still `have a high quality of life from the comfort of their own home. 

Furthermore, we offer specialist and personalised Alzheimer’s Care. At Cavendish Homecare, we are experts in providing home care for those with Alzheimer’s who wish to remain in their own homes. We work to support the patient and their family with private care to improve comfort and quality of life.

If you would like to know more or to discuss requirements, please call us on 020 3008 5210 or email us at info@cavendishhomecare.com. 


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