Wed, Mar 29, 2017 | updated 08:40 PM IST

Being skinny in mid-life can up your Alzheimer's risk

Updated: Aug 03, 2016 12:36 IST

Washington D.C, Aug 3 (ANI): Turns out, being skinny may not be all it's cracked up to be as a recent study has found a link between a lower weight and early Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found an association between lower weight and more extensive deposits of the Alzheimer's-associated protein beta-amyloid in the brains of cognitively normal older individuals.

The association was seen in particular among individuals carrying the APOE4 gene variant, which is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer's.

"Elevated cortical amyloid is believed to be the first stage of the preclinical form of Alzheimer's disease, so our findings suggest that individuals who are underweight late in life may be at greater risk for this disease," said senior author Gad Marshall.

He added, "Finding this association with a strong marker of Alzheimer's disease risk reinforces the idea that being underweight as you get older may not be a good thing when it comes to your brain health."

While the concept of a preclinical version of Alzheimer's disease is theoretical and not yet being used to guide clinical diagnosis or treatment, the current hypothesis involves three stages. Individuals at stage 1 are cognitively normal but have elevated amyloid deposits; stage 2 adds evidence of neurodegeneration, such as elevated tau deposits or characteristic loss of certain brain tissues, with no cognitive symptoms; and stage 3 adds cognitive changes that, while still in a normal range, indicate a decline for that individual.

This investigation explored the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and beta amyloid levels in the brains of the first 280 participants to enroll in HABS, who were ages 62 to 90, cognitively normal and in good general health.

Researchers hope that future studies will explain the mechanism behind the association between lower BMI and increased amyloid levels.

Marshall concluded, "One way to get closer to determining any cause and effect relationship will be following these individuals over time to see whether their baseline BMI does predict the development of symptoms, which we are doing in HABS and eventually investigating whether maintaining or even increasing BMI in late life has an effect on outcomes. Right now, we're also studying whether BMI is associated with any other clinical and imaging markers of Alzheimer's disease."

The study is reported in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. (ANI)

Washington.D.C. [USA], Mar. 29 (ANI): A study finds that gastric acid suppression drugs increase the risk of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection - which causes diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

Full Story >>

Ranchi [India], Mar. 28 (ANI): Health Minister of Jharkhand, Ramchandra Chandravanshi has recently claimed that the state has come a long way from the day when Jharkhand was on 18th number among states as far as their healthcare services were concerned. It now stands third in the country, according to an independent survey.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): Exposure to fungal product, called aflatoxin, is believed to cause up to 80 percent of liver cancer cases in many parts of the world.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Attention dog lovers! With just six months of training, a German Shepherd can accurately detect breast cancer, a study finds.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A recent study has found that a sleepless night impairs your ability to interpret subtle expressions of happiness and sadness.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): When it comes to new moms' workout programs, less is more and so, according to a Kansas State University researcher, new moms may need a bit more flexibility and support to ease back into exercise after giving birth.

Full Story >>

New approach to diagnosing mental disorders

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 10:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A consortium of psychiatrists and psychologists has proposed a new approach to diagnosing mental disorders.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Fecal transplant offers hope for autistic kids

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 09:37 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): In this new era of medical therapy dawning, fecal transplants are poised to help fight a range of conditions, from deadly superbugs to obesity and now, autism is in the firing line.

Full Story >>

Thiruvallur (Chennai) [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): A highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 confirm what we all knew from clinical evidence - that hypertension has become a major health concern among the Indian population, with as many as 22% Indians hypertensive.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A prescription weight-loss medication can decrease the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered a new gene that is associated with Tau accumulation, which is one of the defining features of Alzheimer disease (AD).

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): All it takes is the flip of a protein "switch" within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Scientists have found that stem cell therapy repairs damaged lungs - raising hopes of a cure for the crippling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

Full Story >>

New method can cut dental implant failure

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 09:34 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a new method to reduce dental implant failure.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a fluorogenic probe that can detect the activity of multidrug-resistant pathogens in an assay system.

Full Story >>

Virus hydrophobicity can help purify vaccines

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 07:46 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has found that hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed light on why survivors of childhood brain tumours may be prone to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and early death.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Continuing its efforts to raise awareness on tuberculosis and its diagnosis, Division of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS, and BD (Becton Dickinson India) for the third consecutive year organized a symposium today on "challenges in diagnosis and eradication of tuberculosis".

Full Story >>