Washington: Smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight in middle age may cause brain shrinkage and lead to cognitive problems up to a decade later, a new study has suggested.“These factors appeared to cause the brain to lose volume, to develop lesions secondary to presumed vascular injury, and also appeared to affect its ability to plan and make decisions as quickly as 10 years later. A different pattern of association was observed for each of the factors,” said study author Charles DeCarli, MD, with the University of California at Davis in Sacramento and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our findings provide evidence that identifying these risk factors early in people of middle age could be useful in screening people for at-risk dementia and encouraging people to make changes to their lifestyle before it``s too late,” added DeCarli.The study involved 1,352 people without dementia from the Framingham Offspring Study with an average age of 54.
People who were obese at middle age were more likely to be in the top 25 percent of those with the faster rate of decline in scores on tests of executive function, DeCarli said. People with a high waist-to-hip ratio were more likely to be in the top 25 percent of those with faster decrease in their brain volume.The study has been published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. ANI
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