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Scientists hint at a link between weight loss and dementia in women

by Medindia Content Team on July 17, 2006 at 2:20 PM
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Scientists hint at a link between weight loss and dementia in women

A recent study has pointed towards a connection between weight loss in women and the onset of dementia. Researchers found that many women had lost weight as early as a decade before they began to suffer degenerative brain disorder.

The team analyzed nearly 560 patient histories with prevailing brain conditions, and drew a comparison with those who did not suffer any brain disorder. The patients were tracked for two to three decades.


The study found that women, who suffered dementia, had begun to lose weight nearly ten years prior to its onset. Though the exact cause of this connection between weight loss and dementia is yet to be established, scientists feel that, weight loss could be a sign of impending problems in the brain. The patient may not experience the usual appetite, may also portray disinterest in food, which may be the reason for weight loss.

Men have not portrayed any of these symptoms prior to dementia onset, so scientists feel that post-menopausal problems accompanied with hormonal changes could also contribute to weight loss in women.

Dr David Knopman, who led the US study, said: "We discovered the weight of those women who developed dementia was drifting downward many years before the onset of symptoms. This illustrates changes that occur before the memory loss and mental decline in dementia. We believe that the brain disease began to interfere somehow with maintenance of body weight, long before it affected memory and thinking."


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