It's common for the elderly to lose weight, but a new study finds losing too much weight could signal the risk of dementia.
A study of almost 1,900 Japanese men finds those who lost at least 11 pounds during a six year period were the most likely to show signs of dementia, but not right away. Researchers found the weight loss often occurred several years before the patient was diagnosed with dementia.
Researchers are not sure if changes in the brain during the early stages of dementia cause the weight loss. They suggest caregivers need to play close attention to weight changes and a healthy diet as people get older.
In the study led by researchers at Institute of Psychiatry, London & National Institutes of Health, researchers compared weight change in men who developed dementia with those who didn't. Researchers defined dementia as basic loss of cognitive and physical function so you can't conduct daily activities independently.
The study is published in the Archives of Neurology.