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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Weight Loss Precedes Dementia Diagnosis In Women Mayo Clinic Study Finds

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that women who develop dementia experience a decline in weight as many as 10 years prior to the onset of memory loss, compared to peers who do not develop dementia.
"We discovered that the weight of those women who developed dementia was drifting downward many years before the onset of symptoms," says David Knopman, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and lead study researcher. "This illustrates changes that occur before the memory loss and mental decline in dementia. We believe that the brain disease began to interfere somehow with maintenance of body weight, long before it affected memory and thinking."

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Gary Moller comments:
What a load of uninformed rubbish! There is hardly ever a single simple answer to these kinds of matters. Furthermore; what came first - the chicken or the egg? The weight loss or the dementia?

There are several other answers than dementia itself for the progressive weight loss that they report that better fits with my personal observations and from study of populations with very low levels of dementia, like the Okinawan Centenarians: It is that the progressive weight loss is occurring principally, as the result of one or a combination of -
  • Malnutrition that is associated with poverty, drugs interactions, living alone, poor dental health and lack of access to fresh foods
  • Lack of sunlight causing severe and chronic vitamin D deficiency (linked to dementia)
  • Steadily reducing activity and dependency
  • Dependency caused by well-meaning care-givers, that reduces the need to exercise brain power for activities of daily living
  • Lack of physical challenge and mental stimulation, such as previously having to till fields, care for animals (including grandchildren) and grow crops
  • Long term effects from chronic use of all kinds of prescription drugs that stultify the brain and interfere with nutrition, muscle strength, balance, kidneys, liver, adrenals etc
I have written this very quickly, so the above list is a bit of a mish-mash; but I am sure that you get the point.

Even if this report is out of the prestigious Mayo Clinic, speculation by experts who are experts in a very narrow field of expertise can be very misleading.
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