Both high and very low body mass index are associated with the potential for dementia, according to a new study, published in the international scientific journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
For the purposes of this analysis, researchers used data from 39 studies, involving nearly 1,500,000 adults from 5 different countries. The total follow-up of volunteers was 38 years, during which 6,894 cases of dementia were diagnosed.
According to the results of the analysys, the existence of an increased body mass index in the middle age appeared to be associated with a higher probability of the disease occurrence. On the other hand, it was observed that the body mass index of the participants who had dementia was lower just before diagnosis of the disease, compared to those of a similar age who had no dementia.
As the researchers explain, looking at the results in combination, the hypothesis suggests that body weight is associated with dementia through two different mechanisms.
On one hand, the high body mass index in middle age is aggravating the risk of developing dementia, while on the other hand, at the initial stage, the disease may lead to a decrease in the body mass index. In conclusion, they comment that more studies are needed to clarify the responsible mechanisms.