Overeating could 'lead to memory loss'

13 February 2012

People who overeat during their younger years may be running the risk of undergoing a brain scan to detect memory loss once they reach old age.

This is the finding of a new study undertaken by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, which could also hold the key to signs of early Alzheimer's disease.

According to the research, people who regularly consume between 2,100 and 6,000 calories a day have double the chance of suffering memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), when aged 70 and older.

In order to illustrate their findings, the Mayo Clinic researchers studied 1,233 people between the age of 70 and 89 years old and found that those in the highest of three calorie-consuming groups had two times the chance of suffering MCI than those in the lowest calorie-consuming band.

Yonas E Geda, the study's author and member of the American Academy of Neurology, noted: "Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age."

Dr Giulio Maria Pasinetti, from New York's Mount Sinai School, recently led a separate study which has highlighted that decaffeinated coffee has helped to treat type 2 diabetes in mice.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Randall, Brown et al. "Age-related changes to Na+ channel gating contribute to modified intrinsic neuronal excitability". Neurobiology of Aging. February 1st 2012.

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