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by Robert MacKay, Monday, May 24, 2010 | Categories: General Health | Weight Loss

There may be a link between weight gain in middle age and dementia, according to scientists from the Boston School of Medicine.

They believe that a paunch in middle age can make otherwise healthy people more likely to develop the condition, which the World Health Organisation estimate is affecting 24.3 people worldwide. They think that there is a link between excess weight and lower total brain volume.

The team studied over 700 volunteers, whose average age was 60. They compared their BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference with measures of their brain volume and brain density, amongst other measurements.

The Alzheimer’s Society has said that they are not overly surprised by the research, as it is already known that dementia is related to high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. All three conditions are themselves associated with having a middle-aged spread.

The results are published in the journal, Annals of Neurology.

They have called for more work to be done to be done to investigate the link between obesity and dementia, and further said that research into dementia is ‘drastically underfunded’. In a press release, they called for sufficient research to ‘make the advances necessary’.

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