Navigation Links
Early Weight Loss in Women Linked to Dementia
Date:8/20/2007

Study finds a connection, but researchers aren't sure why

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women who develop dementia lose weight a decade or more before major symptoms appear, a new study suggests.

The weight loss is small among individual women and can't be used to diagnose who will go on to become senile. Still, the research does point to a long incubation time for dementia, said study author Dr. David Knopman, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, in Rochester, Minn.

"It's a demonstration of the gradual and insidious nature" of dementia, Knopman said. Some aspects of the condition "can be present to a minor degree two decades before the memory problems."

The findings are published in the Aug. 21 issue of Neurology.

Knopman and his colleagues examined a database of 481 men and women in Rochester, Minn., who were diagnosed with dementia between 1990 and 1994. Then the researchers looked into medical records going back decades to check the weights of the study participants. They also checked the records of a similar group of people who did not develop dementia.

The researchers found the weights of the men had nothing to do with whether they developed dementia. For women, weight loss 21 to 30 years before a diagnosis of dementia was irrelevant, but those who lost weight more recently were more likely to develop cognitive problems.

"Women destined to become demented as a group became lighter and weighed less than those who weren't destined to get dementia," Knopman said. "It's only a matter of a few pounds, but, on average, they were a bit lower."

By the time the women were diagnosed with dementia, they weighed an average of 12 pounds less than women who didn't develop cognitive problems.

The connection between weight loss and dementia isn't new. According to Knopman, other researchers have found evidence of it over the past five to 10 years. But the new study is unusual because it found weight loss so many years before a dementia diagnosis, he said.

No one knows why women who develop dementia lose weight years earlier but men don't. Knopman theorized that it may have something to do with both social and biological factors.

Older women may eat less in general, because many live alone as widows, and the approaching dementia may cause a decreased sense of taste and smell that makes eating less appealing, he said.

Another theory is that dementia in its earlier stages affects the way the body processes blood sugar, said Dr. Lon Schneider, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and gerontology at the University of Southern California.

He was hesitant to speculate why women and men might be affected differently. However, he did say the findings could eventually lead to earlier diagnosis of dementia.

According to Schneider, the earliest signs of cognitive problems occur about three years before dementia fully sets in.

What's the next step? "To try to understand why this [weight loss] happens and develop preventive treatments for Alzheimer's disease," Knopman said. "That's the key issue."

More information

Learn more about Alzheimer's disease from the Alzheimer's Association.



SOURCES: David Knopman, M.D., professor, neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn.; Lon Schneider, M.D., professor, psychiatry, neurology and gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Aug. 21, 2007, Neurology


'/>"/>

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.

Related medicine news :

1. Gene linked to early puberty in girls
2. Cancer drugs in development nearly doubled since 1995
3. Nearly all asthma deaths preventable
4. Ductal lavage may detect early breast cancer
5. Doctors advice early anemia tests
6. Heart disease threat starts early in life for Diabetics
7. Early detection of prostate cancer
8. Early detection of heart attack
9. Early puberty linked to nutrition
10. Early Clue to Down Syndrome
11. Heart disease starts early
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) , ... October 13, ... ... owned firm with locations throughout Arkansas that offers insurance and financial preparation services, ... to benefit the Rock City Rescue organization. , Rock City Rescue is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health ... technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing ... form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud ... and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and ... the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors ... a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January ... Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Sept. 22, 2017 ... ll medical device is now successfully helping those with ... Union. Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in ... getting dressed and washing my hair, experiencing no sleep ... body in painful spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 18, 2017 ... in the fields of bioinformatics and immune ... to develop a protective avian influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... is distantly related to seasonal influenza and ... approaches, which rely on prior exposure to be ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... Sept. 12, 2017  ValGenesis Inc., the global ... is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. ... its Board of Directors and Chairman of Advisory ... life science companies to manage their entire validation ... paper in this process. Furthermore, ValGenesis VLMS enables ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: