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Does Weight Affect Brain Health?

If your older family member is showing signs of decline in brain health, it’s important that they see a doctor.

According to the American Heart Association, about 25 percent of adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or other kinds of illnesses. In a new study, scientists found that people who have metabolic disease and are obese may also be harming the health of their brains.

About the Obesity Study

To examine the potential for harm to brain health due to metabolic illness or obesity, researchers conducted a study involving over 2,100 adults between the ages of 37 and 55. The study found that people who were metabolically unhealthy or who were obese were at the greatest risk for a decline in brain health. MRIs indicated that the cerebral brain volume of these participants was smaller than in healthy people. The participants who were also obese had the highest instances of injury to the white matter in their brain. These same kinds of injury are also associated with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to changes on the medical tests, the researchers also found that people who were obese performed worse on cognitive tests. This occurred even if they were metabolically healthy. The tests looked at thinking skills, verbal memory, and abstract reasoning.

Signs of Poor Brain Health in Elderly

Senior Care Simpsonville, SC: Does Weight Affect Brain Health?

Aging causes some natural changes to the brain, such as:

  • Some parts of the brain get smaller, like the parts involved in learning and complex mental activities.
  • Some communication between nerve cells is lessened.
  • Less blood flow in the brain.
  • Increased inflammation.

These changes are responsible for the normal changes in thinking and memory, like:

  • Trouble finding the right words or names.
  • Difficulty with multi-tasking.
  • Some trouble with paying attention.

While these changes are just part of aging, some changes are not, like those associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Signs that your older family member might be experiencing unhealthy brain changes are:

  • Memory loss that gets in the way of normal day-to-day life.
  • Trouble doing familiar tasks, like following a recipe or paying bills.
  • Being confused about time or place.
  • Losing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them or finding them in strange places.

If your older family member is showing signs of decline in brain health, it’s important that they see a doctor. If they are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, senior care can help to keep them healthy and safe. A senior care provider can cook healthy meals that support the health of their body and brain. Senior care providers can also supervise the older adult to keep them from wandering or doing something that could get them hurt.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care in Simpsonville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.



Edward Harrison

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