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Could Weight Loss Be Early Sign of Alzheimer's?
Date:11/22/2011

Alzheimer's disease in 506 people. Participants represented a range of cognitive function, some with no memory problems, some with mild cognitive impairment and some with Alzheimer's.

People with evidence of Alzheimer's -- either in brain scans or protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid -- were more likely to have a lower BMI than those who did not show early evidence of the disease.

And the markers of brain changes for Alzheimer's were most evident in people with normal memory functioning or mild cognitive impairment, although it's not clear yet why this is.

There are a number of theories -- but only theories at this point -- to explain the findings.

One is that the Alzheimer's disease process is affecting the hippocampus, that part of the brain involved in metabolism and appetite.

Or inflammatory processes may be driving both the decreased BMI and the cognitive changes.

More Information

The Alzheimer's Association has more on has more on this condition.

SOURCES: Eric Vidoni, Ph.D., assistant director, University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center, Kansas City, Kan.; Ian Murray, Ph.D., assistant professor, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station; Nov. 22, 2011, Neurology


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