Underweight increase risk of Dementia

dementiaBeing underweight in middle-age may raise the risk for dementia later on, while being overweight or obese may protect against dementia, hints the largest study yet to look at the association between body mass index (BMI) and dementia risk.

“Our findings contradict many but not all previous studies and is currently controversial” Nawab Qizilbash, MBChB, MRCP (UK), head of OXON Epidemiology Ltd, and honorary senior lecturer in epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.

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Delaying Retirement May Reduce Risk for Dementia

dementiaAn older age at retirement may be associated with a significantly decreased risk of dementia, according to research presented at the 2013 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. In a study of 429,803 retired French workers, Carole Dufouil, PhD, and colleagues found that the hazard ratio of dementia was 0.968 for each extra year of age at retirement.

“Our results highlight the importance of maintaining high levels of cognitive and social stimulation throughout work and retiree life and emphasize the need for interventions and policies to help older individuals achieve such cognitive and social engagement,” stated Dr. Dufouil, Director of Research in Neuroepidemiology at INSERM in Paris.

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Exercise Prevents Dementia in Some Seniors

SeniorsOlder people who are living independently but have signs of cerebral damage may lower their risk of having progressive cognitive impairment or dementia if they remain physically active, researchers found.

Even after adjustment for white matter changes seen on MRI and history of stroke, those who met criteria for physical activity had significantly lower risks of developing any cognitive impairment, any dementia, and vascular dementia over a 3-year period, according to Ana Verdelho, MD, of the University of Lisbon in Portugal, and colleagues.

The relationship between physical activity and vascular dementia remained significant after further adjustment for baseline cognitive function (HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.94), the researchers reported online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. [Read more…]

Do Sleep Patterns Affect the Risk of Cognitive Decline?

Older CoupleVANCOUVER—The quality and quantity of sleep may be associated with the risk for cognitive decline, according to four studies presented at the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Treatments for insomnia or circadian rhythm delay might reduce or prevent cognitive decline, investigators reported.

Sleep Duration and Cognition
Compared with a sleep duration of seven hours per day, sleep durations of five or fewer hours per day and of nine or more hours per day were associated with worse average memory at older ages, according to Elizabeth Devore, ScD, Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Short and long sleep durations at midlife and in later life were both associated with worse memory in later life. [Read more…]

Coffee May Ward Off Progression to Dementia

Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may be able to avoid developing dementia by drinking several cups of coffee a day, the results of a new study suggest.

The study showed that patients with MCI who have a plasma caffeine level of 1200 ng/mL avoided progression to dementia over the following 2 to 4 years.

These patients exhibited a plasma cytokine profile that was exactly the same as that of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) transgenic mice that were given caffeinated coffee and didn’t progress to dementia. It’s therefore very likely that it’s caffeine from coffee, and not from other sources, that affords the cognitive protection, said study senior author Gary W. Arendash, PhD, research scientist, Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida.

The research also suggests that certain cytokine patterns could signal for impending conversion to dementia among those with MCI, said Dr. Arendash. [Read more…]