A recent study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University has found that a higher BMI doesn’t necessarily increase an individual’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is despite the fact that obesity in mid-life has been associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s.
For their research, the scientists compared data obtained from two groups of individuals who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. One group’s disease didn’t worsen while the other’s condition progressed to Alzheimer’s within two years.
The scientists focused on two factors: various genetic variants that have been linked to Alzheimer’s and body mass index (“BMI”). They conducted an analysis which demonstrated that a lower BMI combined with a higher genetic risk was linked to a higher chance for mild cognitive impairment to progress to Alzheimer’s. This link was found to be stronger in males.
The researchers theorize that a lower BMI in these patients may have been a result of neurodegeneration. This refers to the progressive damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s. Regions of the brain that are affected by the disease also play a role in weight regulation and managing eating behaviors.
Assistant professor of psychology at the university, Jasmeet Hayes, who was the senior author of the study, stated that individuals shouldn’t eat everything they want simply because the group’s discovery had linked a higher risk of the neurodegenerative ailment to a lower body mass index. Hayes explained that consuming a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight were very important in helping keep oxidative stress and inflammation low. She added that this risk factor was adjustable, as it could hinder neurodegenerative processes while helping individuals improve their lives. She also noted that any rapid weight loss in older people may be reflective of a possible neurodegenerative disease process and should be checked out.
The research findings were reported in the “Journals of Gerontology: Series A.”
Prior research conducted along the same parameters had discovered links between negative cognitive outcomes and obesity. However, the results weren’t conclusive in older individuals who were closer to the age when Alzheimer’s is diagnosed.
Researchers suggest taking part in activities that promote neuro functioning and decrease inflammation, consuming a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight as preventive steps.
Other co-authors of the study include Scott Hayes, Sarah Prieto, Alexander Hasselbach and Kate Valerio. This research was backed by the Chronic Brain Injury Initiative and the National Institute on Aging.
These research findings contribute to what other companies such as Brain Scientific Inc. (OTCQB: BRSF) are doing.
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