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Does low BMI cause early stage Alzheimer's?

Does low BMI cause early stage Alzheimer's?
22nd November 2011

Low body mass index (BMI) may be related to the early onset of Alzheimer's disease, a new study has revealed.

Using advanced brain imaging techniques and analyses of cerebrospinal fluid to look for biomarkers for Alzheimer's, researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Centre discovered that people with a low BMI were more likely to possess biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease.

Commenting on the recent discovery, the Alzheimer's Society stated: "As yet it is unclear whether a low BMI is actually part of Alzheimer's.

"Although this study shows a link between it and changes in the brain ... there was no association between BMI and symptoms of [Alzheimer's]."

Obesity has previously been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm claim that patients who experience obesity during midlife have a higher chance of developing Alzheimer's at a later date.

However, the reasons for this association remain unknown.

The study also confirmed established knowledge that high systolic blood pressure and cholesterol also increase dementia risk.

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