18 December 2009

A well- fed belly is deaf to Alzheimer 's

Satiety hormone protects against senile dementiaBBC news: Alzheimer's risk linked to level of appetite hormone 

High levels of the hormone leptin are associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other types of senile dementia. Such conclusions were reached by the staff of Boston University as a result of many years of observation of elderly Americans.

The study, which began in the 90s of the last century, involved several hundred men and women without signs of dementia, whose average age was 79 years.

At the first stage of the study, the participants measured the levels of leptin in blood plasma. This hormone, which is often called the "satiety hormone", is responsible for controlling appetite and regulates the metabolism in the body.

A second examination of pensioners, including MRI of the brain, was conducted during 1999-2005. Finally, in 2007, the last, final assessment of the participants' mental abilities was carried out.

Of the 198 elderly people who survived to the last examination, signs of senile dementia were found in 111 people, 89 patients were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

By dividing the participants into four groups, depending on the concentrations of leptin in the blood detected at the beginning of the study, the scientists established a clear link between this indicator and the risk of developing all types of dementia. In the group with the highest concentration of the hormone, this risk was reduced by 68 percent.

Of the quarter of the subjects with the highest levels of the hormone, 6 percent showed signs of dementia. In the group with the lowest concentrations – 25 percent. High levels of leptin were also statistically associated with a large volume of brain matter at the end of the study.

The study report (Wolfgang Lieb et al., Association of Plasma Leptin Levels With Incident Alzheimer's Disease and MRI Measures of Brain Aging) is published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. According to the authors of the publication, if the data obtained by them can be confirmed by larger-scale studies, the assessment of leptin levels in the blood can become one of the methods for assessing the individual risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other types of senile dementia.  In addition, new methods of prevention and treatment of these diseases can be created on the basis of leptin.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru18.12.2009

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