TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Older adults who preserve a gentle weight as they age are much less prone to expertise fast cognitive decline, no matter how a lot they weigh to start out, new analysis suggests.
“There’s something about maintaining weight and BMI that seems to reflect some health resilience,” mentioned examine writer Michal Schnaider Beeri, a professor of psychiatry at Icahn Mount Sinai in New York City. (BMI is an estimate of physique fats based mostly on top and weight.)
“In old age, a stable BMI may confer protection against cognitive decline, and tracking BMI, which is simple to measure, at annual medical visits may point to individuals whose cognition is declining and allow for early intervention,” she mentioned.
The new examine exhibits that the 2 circumstances are linked. It wasn’t designed to say how, or even when, adjustments in BMI over time velocity up psychological decline.
But, “a person who maintains bone, fat and muscle may have better health in old age,” Beeri mentioned.
She instructed that future research ought to attempt to uncover precisely how BMI fluctuations have an effect on mind well being.
Consistent proof has linked BMI in midlife with poor psychological outcomes in later life. Some research have discovered larger impairment with high BMI, whereas others have discovered no hyperlink and even decrease threat amongst overweight older adults. Losing weight has been related to greater dementia threat.
But researchers mentioned there’s restricted proof about simultaneous adjustments in BMI and psychological decline.
For the most recent examine, Beeri’s workforce analyzed information from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center on about 16,000 older adults.
Folks have been a minimum of 60, and none had been identified with dementia when the examine started. They took exams assessing their reminiscence, language, pondering abilities and different psychological features. Their BMI was measured yearly.
After about 5 years of follow-up, everybody confirmed some extent of psychological decline, but it surely was greater than 60% quicker within the group with fluctuating BMIs in comparison with these whose BMI stayed steady.
These findings held even after researchers took under consideration different elements linked to psychological decline, together with smoking, diabetes, despair and genes that increase Alzheimer’s threat.
The findings have been revealed Jan. 20 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“This is really interesting because it provides another piece of the puzzle as we try to understand the mechanisms around cognitive decline,” mentioned Ana Capuano, an affiliate professor of biostatistics at Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago.
Studies performed at Rush have linked amyloid plaques seen in brains throughout post-mortem to BMI instability, she mentioned. Amyloid plaques are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, the commonest type of dementia.
“We don’t know at what point this brain pathology starts. We know it’s a long, long process,” mentioned Capuano.
“Fluctuation in BMI over time can serve as a red flag for doctors to assess cognition and make lifestyle change recommendations,” she mentioned.
Eating a nutritious diet and getting common train are good for the mind and the remainder of the physique, Capuano added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supplies an easy-to-use BMI calculator.
SOURCES: Michal Schnaider Beeri, PhD, professor, psychiatry, Icahn Mount Sinai, New York City; Ana Capuano, PhD, MPS, MS, affiliate professor, biostatistics, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Chicago; Alzheimer’s & Dementia: the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, Jan. 20, 2022