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Obesity Increases Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease


Recently, a scientific research has found a relationship between obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. In the international Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Edith Cowan University Professor Ralph Martins in Western Australia and Thomas Jefferson University Professor Sam Gandy in the United States published the results of their studies, the firsts to link overweight with a circulating Alzheimer’s molecule in the blood. According to their research, being overweight significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Martins and Professor Gandy pointed out that when losing excess weight and keeping a healthy body weight the risk of developing this debilitating condition is reduced considerably.

Relationships between overweight and damage of brain tissue are not new. A study made in Sweden showed that women who had an increased Body Mass Index (BMI) every time they were examined had a higher chance of presenting atrophy in the temporal lobe (a part of the brain involved with memory). There are several likely explanations for how obesity contributes to brain damage. Excess fat possibly contributes to a vascular milieu that is not healthy for the brain.

Obese people are more likely to have hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes, conditions that contribute to blockages in the heart and brain and blood vessel damage. Diabetes is especially harmful because it reduces the levels of a brain enzyme known as insulin-degrading enzyme, which in turn, raises the levels of amyloid-beta, a protein believed to be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, fat tissue is metabolically active as it raises levels of hormones and other substances that can damage brain cells and lead to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.


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