Dementia in Old Ages – A new study suggests that people who are underweight (BMI less than 20) in the middle years of their lives may suffer from dementia in old ages.
A survey related to the study found that people who have below normal weight during their 40s, 50s and 60s are more prone to be diagnosed with Dementia (a brain disease) 15 years later than their more healthy counterparts.
The term Dementia includes many brain diseases that cause a long term and gradual decrease in a person’s ability to think and remember. The resulting illnesses/problems that may arise because of dementia are lingual, motivational and emotional in nature. Thus, long term dementia may affect daily functioning of a person and its effects are more visible during old age.
According to Dr. Nawab Qizilbash, head of OXON Epidemiology, investigations are initiated to know why being underweight leads to dementia. No exact cause has been yet found out. He speculates that the factors that cause Dementia may relate to diet pattern, exercise routine, Vitamin D and E deficiency, weakness, etc.
The study was initiated around 20 years ago. None of the respondents had dementia during that time. Around 46,000 people were diagnosed later with dementia during what researchers call “the follow-up periods”.
The study also says that being overweight or obese during middle ages may have a protecting effect on the brain. People who had BMI of 40 or more had a 29 percent lower risk of having dementia than those people who had their BMI lying in healthy ranges.
Dr. Nawab says that the next steps of research will focus on understanding the influence of weight changes on Dementia. The doctor also wants to look into the overall effects of obesity on Dementia as obese people may not live long enough to get any benefits of better brain health.