Weight loss in healthy elderly might be a sign of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

A recent study carried out at the Sant Pau Memory Unit in collaboration with the Endocrinology Unit of Hospital Clínic (Barcelona) suggests that unintentional weight loss in cognitively healthy subjects might be related with Alzheimer’s disease.

Our work is focused on healthy individuals, in other words, without any sign of cognitive impairment. The study has been performed by the neuroimaging team of the Sant Pau Memory Unit and it has been titled: “Weight loss in the healthy elderly might be a non-cognitive sign of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease”. The paper has been published in December on the Oncotarget journal.

Applying different types of statistical analysis and imaging techniques, a three-way relationship is shown between unintentional weight loss and different Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. First, the investigation shows that subjects who involuntarily lose weight over the years end up having a worse cognitive performance; second, these same subjects have higher levels of tau and amyloid (proteins directly related with the physiopathological process of Alzheimer’s disease); and finally, researchers have observed morphological changes in the cerebral cortex. Briefly, individuals who lose weight have less cortical thickness than the rest of the participants. Moreover, when these subjects are re-evaluated after two years not only they have less cortical thickness, but they are experiencing an accelerated longitudinal atrophy.

Weight loss and Alzheimer

These results provide a new vision of the relationship between obesity and Alzheimer’s disease concluding that weight loss may be a sign of preclinical Alzheimer Disease.

Check this link to find more details about the publication.


4 thoughts on “Weight loss in healthy elderly might be a sign of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease”

  1. Thanks for another excellent post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

    • We are glad you enjoyed it, Linda. You will find all the details of our study by following the link at the end of the post.

  2. Es lo que estoy viviendo con mi esposo,come bien pero esta perdiendo peso, le han diagnosticado demencia en grado leve ,que podria hacer para que deje de perder ???
    Muchas gracias

    • Hola Elena, si está comiendo bien y aún así pierde peso, lo más apropiado sería que contactes con su médico de atención primaria para que valore si es preciso hacer un estudio específico.


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