Gaining weight in middle age linked to increased dementia risk

Lisa Wurth

May 4, 2011

A new study published in the latest issue of Neurology has found that gaining weight during middle age may cause an increased risk in dementia, which highlights the need to better control obesity rates among older adults especially. Overall, it was found that older adults who were obese or overweight both had heightened chances of neurological disorders.

"Currently, 1.6 billion adults are overweight or obese worldwide and over 50 percent of adults in the United States and Europe fit into this category," said researcher Weili Xu. "Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia."

Families who are worried about a loved one who may be developing dementia may want to invest in safety guards against possible injuries as well, such as an elderly alert system. This device can be used to instantly send a medical alert to an emergency call center.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that almost 15 million Americans are caring for 5.4 million loved ones who are suffering from the disease and has labeled the baby boomer "Generation Alzheimer's," because they will have to care for parents with it and will be at high risk for the condition themselves.