A life course of adiposity and dementia.Eur J Pharmacol 2008; 585(1):163-75EJ
Adiposity, commonly measured as body mass index (BMI), may influence or be influenced by brain structures and functions involved in dementia processes. Adipose tissue changes in degree and intensity over the lifespan, and has been shown to influence brain development in relationship to early and late measures of cognitive function, intelligence, and disorders of cognition such as dementia. A lower BMI is associated with prevalent dementia, potentially due to underlying brain pathologies and correspondingly greater rates of BMI or weight decline observed during the years immediately preceding clinical dementia onset. However, high BMI during mid-life or at least approximately 5-10 years preceding clinical dementia onset may increase risk. The interplay of adiposity and the brain occurring over the course of the lifespan will be discussed in relationship to developmental origins, mid-life sequelae, disruptions in brain structure and function, and late-life changes in cognition and dementia. Characterizing the life course of adiposity among those who do and do not become demented enhances understanding of biological underpinnings relevant for understanding the etiologies of both dementia and obesity and their co-existence.