While there are many different diseases that can lead to dementia, including stroke, and Alzheimer’s, researchers also fear that an expanding waistline during middle age could lead to problems with dementia later in life as well. A Swedish study that followed almost 9000 twins for 30 years found convincing evidence linking excess body fat with increased dementia risk.
For the study, which involved almost 9000 twins, participants were assessed for mental sharpness including memory skills. Close to 4% the twins were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia while 2% were diagnosed with borderline dementia-type behavior. Participants were on average 43 years of age, height and weight data were recorded, and they were brought back in thirty years.
Out of all the twins, one in three were overweight during middle age. Those that were overweight or obese had an 80% higher risk of developing dementia compared to those who were within their normal weight range, the researchers found.
There appears to be some a link between body fat and brain functioning. Fat tissues release hormones and other cells that very likely could affect the way the brain operates.
Dementia is not a specific disease; it refers to a group of symptoms that result from brain disorders. These symptoms may include an inability to think clearly enough to execute normal activities such as eating or getting dressed, an inability to solve problems easily, and difficulty with controlling emotions. Some struggling with dementia see things that do not exist or are easily irritated.
Related Read: How to Avoid Dementia
Investigating triggers early on may help researchers figure out the best treatment protocol for dementia. Obviously, it is recommended that people maintain a healthy body weight and an active lifestyle for as long as possible. Both of these things help the body to function at its best. It is important for all people to be aware that the choices that they make now can and most likely will affect them years down the road.