26/08/2009

Obesity can lead to Alzheimer disease

It is a fact that obesity increases risk for cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, and hypertension.

 

Current research suggests obesity increases the risk of "Alzheimer and other diseases that attack the brain."

 

In the current online edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping, Paul Thompson, senior author and a UCLA professor of neurology and lead author Cyrus A. Raji, a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues compared the brains of people who were obese, overweight, and of normal weight, to see if they had differences in brain structure; that is, did their brains look equally healthy.

 

They found that obese people had 8 percent less brain tissue than people with normal weight, while overweight people had 4 percent less tissue.

 

"That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain," said Thompson. "But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control."