Scientists find link between obesity and dementia

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New research has linked obesity to genes related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists suggest the findings offer an explanation for why Alzheimer’s is sometimes more common among adults who experienced obesity in midlife.

They say it is important to address obesity and begin healthy weight loss when people reach their 40s and 50s.

Researchers analysed data from 5,619 people in the Framingham Heart Study – an ongoing study in America – and looked at 74 Alzheimer’s-related genes.

Several of the genes were more strongly related to obesity in midlife versus in late life, and also to obesity in women versus men

Claudia Satizabal, University of Texas

They found 13 of the genes were associated with body mass index (BMI), while eight genes were associated with a second metric of obesity called waist-to-hip ratio.

Claudia Satizabal, of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Texas, San Antonio, said: “Several of the genes were more strongly related to obesity in midl...