Navigation Links
Smoking, Diabetes, Obesity May Shrink Your Brain
Date:8/1/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- As if there weren't already enough good reasons to avoid smoking and keep your weight, blood sugar levels and blood pressure all under control, a new study suggests these risk factors in middle age may cause your brain to shrink, leading to mental declines up to a decade later.

Evaluating data from 1,352 participants whose average age was 54 in the Framingham Offspring Study -- which began in 1971 -- researchers from the University of California, Davis found that smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight were each linked to potentially dangerous vascular changes in the brain.

"We can't cure disease or cure aging, but the idea of a healthy body, healthy mind is very real," said study author Dr. Charles DeCarli, director of UC Davis' Alzheimer's Disease Center. "People should stop smoking, control their blood pressure, avoid diabetes and lose weight. It seems like a no-brainer."

The study is published Aug. 2 in the journal Neurology.

Participants were given blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes tests and had their body mass and waist circumference measured. They also underwent MRI brain scans over the course of a decade, the first one about seven years after the initial risk factor exam.

Those with stroke and dementia were excluded at the outset, and between the first and last MRIs 19 participants suffered a stroke and two developed dementia.

Those with high blood pressure experienced a more rapid worsening of test scores of planning and decision-making, which corresponded to a faster rate of growth of small areas of vascular brain damage than those with normal blood pressure.

Those with diabetes in middle age experienced brain shrinkage in an area known as the hippocampus faster than those without, and smokers lost brain volume overall and in the hippocampus faster than nonsmokers, with a more rapid increase of small areas of vascular brain damage.

Meanwhile, participants who were obese at middle age were more likely to be in the top 25 percent of those with faster declines in tests of executive function, DeCarli said. Those with a high waist-to-hip ratio were more likely to be among the 25 percent with a faster drop in brain volume.

"I do think it's an important study and has practical importance in confirming there are things we can do in middle age that can have effects 10, 20 and 30 years down the line to improve cognitive health," said Dr. Raj Shah, medical director of the Rush Memory Clinic in Chicago. "It may seem we're talking about things that are somewhat common knowledge, but really, we always hypothesize these things could happen, but to show they actually do in a study is very important."

DeCarli noted that the effects of the risk factors studied are likely to be even more compelling in the general population, since study participants were largely healthy individuals with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a low diabetes rate.

"It could be so much worse in a representative group of Americans," he said, adding that all study participants were white and only 5 percent were diabetics, compared to a nearly 50 percent rate for Hispanics over age 65. And, "the study certainly doesn't represent the growing obesity problem seen in the South."

One of the strengths of the research was that it used a large sample of people from a well-known study, said Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. However, the results don't prove these risk factors caused the brain changes, she added.

"We know smoking and being overweight are bad for other parts of your health," Roe said. "This is just one more reason to get these things under control."

More information

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has more about the warning signs of dementia.

SOURCES: Charles DeCarli, M.D., professor, neurology, and director, Alzheimer's Disease Center, University of California, Davis, Sacramento; Raj Shah, M.D., medical director, Rush Memory Clinic, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Catherine M. Roe, Ph.D., assistant professor, neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Aug. 2, 2011, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. AcuAids Announces Acupuncture at Home to Stop Smoking, Lose Weight and More
2. Smoking, but not past alcohol abuse, may impair mental function
3. Wood smoke exposure multiplies damage from smoking, increases risk of COPD
4. Citywide smoking ban contributes to significant decrease in maternal smoking, pre-term births
5. When video games get problematic so do smoking, drug use and aggression
6. Smoking, Obesity Slowing U.S. Life Expectancy Gains: Report
7. Study Links Smoking, Breast Cancer in Older Women
8. Refusal skills help minority youths combat smoking, study finds
9. Smoking, Prostate Cancer a Deadly Mix
10. Newer Blood Test Predicts Diabetes, Heart Disease
11. Increasing Soda Consumption Fuels Rise in Diabetes, Heart Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Smoking, Diabetes, Obesity May Shrink Your Brain
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... ... Outreach is a program that strives to better communities around the world by ... community. It also provides the opportunity for team members to become involved in ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... San Francisco Magazine recently ... Area counties for 2017. Almost 1,000 nominations were submitted and a little over ... Results were announced the magazine’s January 2017 issue . , Under the ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... ... January 14, 2017 , ... Healthy living ... line of activated charcoal products. With more and more people opting to go ... according to how they cater to specific needs. , Moody Zook focused particularly ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... People with type 2 diabetes know ... easy as checking the nutrition label on foods for grams of sugar. But ... sugar-free, proteins can influence — either positively or negatively — insulin secretion and ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... , ... With the increasing public preference for chemical-free personal ... alternatives for customers who have grown more conscious about maintaining their health and ... charcoal products, Moody Zook Chief Executive Officer Nate Ginsburg explained their company’s decision ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/14/2017)... 14, 2017  Johnson & Weaver, LLP announces that a ... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZBH )  securities ... 2016 (the "Class Period"). Zimmer Biomet provides musculoskeletal ... reconstructive products, such as knee and hip reconstructive products. ... According to ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... , January 13, 2017 ... Reagents and Equipment Market by Method (Biochemical (Calcium ... (Biomedical, Protein Production), End User - Global Forecast ... the global market from 2016 to 2021. This ... by 2021 from USD 715.4 Million in 2016, ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... The 2016 election resulted in a ... voting in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, including ... the U.S. In addition, the state of Colorado ... products sales. The ArcView Group has published an updated research ... sales in the U.S. last year reached $6.7 billion, a growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: