Influence of malnutrition on Alzheimer’s disease

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Malnutrition and Alzheimer's

People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are often malnourished. That appears from research, published in the journal “Frontiers in Nutrition”. The findings emphasize the need for timely identification and treatment of malnutrition to limit the risks and development of the disease.

Most common comorbidity

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of cognitive impairment in the elderly and is characterized due to progressive memory loss that eventually leads to dementia. It is caused by the deposition of specific proteins, which results in the loss of neural connections. There is not yet a cure to prevent the disease. Also, researchers have so far been unable to establish a link between specific dietary components and their effects on the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. But a link has recently been suggested between malnutrition and dementia. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) has classified malnutrition as the most common comorbidity in people with Alzheimer’s.

Nutritional status and disease progression

The research, described in “Frontiers in Nutrition,” focused on the relationship between several commonly used nutritional status parameters and their contribution to the risk and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The study included 266 participants, of which 73 had no Alzheimer’s symptoms (the control group), 72 had mild Alzheimer’s and 121 suffered from Alzheimer’s dementia. The study looked at a large number of variables, including body composition, body weight, weight loss and various blood values ​​associated with nutritional status.

Need for early detection

The results show that several diet-related variables are significantly associated with the occurrence and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, malnutrition was most common in the group with dementia due to Alzheimer’s. But malnutrition was also prevalent in the group with a mild form of Alzheimer’s significantly higher than in the control group. The researchers argue for early detection and treatment of malnutrition in the elderly, as this is a risk factor that can be intervened on. Early intervention may reduce the risk, development, and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Frontiers in Nutrition

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