A recent study has found a link between overweight seniors and Alzheimer’s disease. Around five million people in the US suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia, and scientists fear that the number will double in the next few decades. A study in Maryland at the National Institutes of Health has found that if someone is overweight by age 50, they may be susceptible to getting Alzheimer’s faster, as much as several years in advance of seniors who were not overweight.

Relationship Found in Being Overweight Seniors and Alzheimer’s

The study was published in Molecular Psychiatry journal and was conducted by head researcher Madhay Thambisetty, who is part of the US National Institute of Aging.

The study followed more than 1,000 adults for fourteen years and kept track of their body weight index or BMI. Within that timeframe, about 10 percent of them got Alzheimer’s on average at age 83. In this test group, those over 50 years old who had a BMI of 30 had more of a chance to get Alzheimer’s than those with a lower BMI, indicating a relationship between overweight seniors and Alzheimer’s.

Maintaining Healthy Weight Could Ward Off Alzheimer’s

The results of this study suggests that maintaining a healthy BMI could protect someone in midlife from developing early onset Alzheimer’s. Researchers say there is proof that more studies should be done to help scientists and doctors learn how being healthy and having a healthy cardiovascular system benefits the brain in later life.

The ones in the study that got Alzheimer’s were seen to have brain clogging, which is the beginning of dementia, as it starts forming these brain clogs as much as 10 years prior to the development of dementia symptoms.

The results in the study on overweight seniors and Alzheimer’s were further confirmed because some of the participants had brain scans during life and/or underwent autopsies when they died.

Doctors judge a person as being overweight if they have a BMI of higher than 25 and obese if the BMI is over 30. Normal BMI is considered to be between 18 and 25.

The bottom line is that it is a good idea to maintain a healthy weight throughout life, especially as people get near to the age of 50, in order to ward off overweight seniors and Alzheimer’s and other weight related difficulties.