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An open-ended question: Alzheimer's disease and involuntary weight loss: which comes first?

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS
After the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a substantial percentage of patients experience involuntary weight loss (IWL), but there is some debate as to whether IWL is a cause or a consequence of AD. It may play a causal role, because nutritional deficiencies have been found to be associated with worsened cognitive performance, even in subjects without dementia. Conversely, it may be an effect of the disease, considering the hypothesis that the neurodegenerative process associated with AD may itself lead to IWL. The aim of the present review was to help to shed some light on the relationship between IWL and AD.
METHODS
We focus on the problem of the relationship between AD and IWL, and on which comes first.
RESULTS
Even when external factors are well controlled, the association between IWL and the progression of AD seems, for the time being, to be unavoidable.
CONCLUSION
In the light of the literature on the topic, we conclude that IWL is more a consequence than a cause of AD, although chronic diseases and disabilities are factors that may facilitate cognitive decline and accelerate the onset of AD if they are not adequately treated from the nutritional standpoint.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Inelmen EM, Sergi G, Coin A, Girardi A, Manzato E

    Institution

    Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padova, 35128 Padova, Italy. eminemeral.inelmen@unipd.it

    Source

    Aging clinical and experimental research 22:3 2010 Jun pg 192-7

    MeSH

    Aged
    Alzheimer Disease
    Feeding Behavior
    Humans
    Nutrition Assessment
    Weight Loss

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19940557