Photo: Matton (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Smoking, Alcohol, Obesity, Diabetes May Help To Imply Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease: New Study

Smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes and obesity are known to cause risk to the heart, increasing chances of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest.

A new study has now uncovered that these factors could also be initial symbols of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles performed an experiment to find that smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes and obesity are correlated with minor regional brain volumes, which are possibly the initial symbols of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the research, Kevin S. King who is the assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine, and his team performed a study on 1,629 individuals as part of the Dallas Heart Study (DHS). They separated these individuals into two different age groups – 805 members were below 50 years old while 824 members were 50 years old or over. The team looked into the members’ data from the earlier standard visit that involved laboratory and clinical scrutiny, and the succeeding visit after seven years that involved brain MRIs and cognitive scrutiny. For both scrutinizes, they measured slight cognitive damage and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

After weighing the initial visit where cardiovascular risk factors were recognized against the MRI and cognitive results, King and his team proficiently differentiated the particular risk factors of smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes and smoking and their correlation with minor volumes in the three aimed areas of the brain. The outcomes substantiated that poorer cognitive scrutiny results were associated with poorer brain volumes in each of those three aimed areas.

The research discovered that risk factors of smoking and obesity were associated with decreased volumes of posterior cingulated cortex – the brain part responsible for memory recovery and emotional and social behavior, too. On the other hand, the risk factors of diabetes and alcohol consumption were connected with minor volumes of the entire brain.

Apart from these, smoking and alcohol consumption were connected with poorer hippocampal mass while obesity, high blood sugar levels due to fasting and alcohol consumption was associated with decreased precuneus size.

The research also reflects that patients of 50 years old or over who has reduced precuneus and hippocampal volumes might be at an initial risk of cognitive fall, whereas those who are below 50 years old showed the risk of fall through minor posterior cingulated volumes.

King said that before the research it was known that cardiovascular risk factors harm the brain and contains a possibility to cause cognitive damage as well, however their research provided them an even solid impression concerning the association between some particular cardiovascular risk factors and the wellbeing of the brain.

King explained, owing to not having an effectual treatment for Alzheimer’s disease at present they’re concentrating on preventing the illness. He added that down the line, there might be a possibility of them giving beneficial information to the patients regarding the effect of the various risk factors on the wellbeing of the patients’ brain at the time of usual clinical imaging. He hoped that the non-requirement of any special imaging tool might elevate the likelihood to offer this help at several centers throughout the country.

However, King cautioned that supplementary researches are needed to help in better detection of the effect of some particular cardiovascular risk factors on the wellbeing of the brain and contribute in the betterment of a patient’s knowledge about brain illnesses.

The study has been published online in the journal “Radiology”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined dementia as a disorder where the sufferer faces corrosion in memory, thinking, behavior and the capability to carry out daily actions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most ordinary reason of dementia and has the possibility to make happen 60 to 70 percent of the dementia cases.

WHO reported that 47.5 million individuals suffer from dementia around the world with 7.7 million new cases coming up each year.

According to Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th foremost cause of mortality in U.S. and the only disease in the 10 most common diseases in the country that has no cure or prevention or even a way to slow the spread.

It also reported that nearly two-thirds of the Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are women and one in three old individuals die of the disease. In fact, it’s prevalence is so high and intense that the association informed that every 67 seconds one individual grows Alzheimer’s disease.