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April 21, 2010

Gene linked to obesity may be associated with dementia

According to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a gene linked to obesity may also be associated with dementia.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, generated 3D maps of over 200 healthy elderly people's brains & found a pattern of diminished brain volume in people with a specific DNA sequence within the fat mass & obesity-associated (FTO) gene.
Gene linked to obesity may be associated with dementia
"We've known for some time that there's a link between obesity in mid life & the development of Alzheimer's disease. However this study suggests that healthy people who carry a specific DNA sequence associated with obesity could be at a greater risk of developing dementia. A reduction in people's brain tissue was observed but this wasn't linked to other obesity-related factors such as cholesterol levels, diabetes or high blood pressure.

This is a relatively small study but the findings support the need for more research. One million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years but dementia research is desperately under-funded, however with the right investment, it can be defeated."
-Dr. Susanne Sorensen, Head of Research Alzheimer's Society.

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