June 8, 2011

Losing Weight May Save the Mind

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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Alzheimer's risks may be reduced through weight loss

(dailyRx News) It's now known that obesity increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. New research suggests that losing weight may help reduce these risks.

Extremely obese people who lose weight may improve their chances of staving off Alzheimer's disease (AD). Those are the findings of a State University of New York (SUNY) study presented at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting.

"Lose weight to save your mind and body."

Previous research has shown that obesity and type 2 diabetes increase a person's chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

In this study, 15 morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes had gastric bypass surgery. Participants lost an average of 86 pounds over six months. The patients gave blood samples before surgery and six months later.

Researchers studied these samples for a protein (amyloid precursor protein), that's known to contribute to the formation of plaques in the brain. Brain placques are at the heart of AD because they interfere with various parts of the brain communicating with each other.

Researchers found that after the weight loss, the presence of this protein and other gene mechanisms involved in AD were decreased.

The implications of this study may be far-reaching.

"It is possible that the risk of Alzheimers disease in the obese may be lowered by bariatric surgery and weight loss," said the study's lead author Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, professor at State University of New York (SUNY).

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
June 6, 2011

Last Updated:
June 8, 2011