A new study published in the online issue of the American Academy of Neurology medical journal revealed that people with the lowest total body bone density are more likely to develop dementia than those with higher bone density. The research considered factors such as age, sex, education, other illnesses, medication use, and family history of dementia and successfully established the correlation between bone density and dementia.
The study observed 3,651 people with an average age of 72 over ten years and found that those with the lowest bone density had a 42% increased chance of developing dementia. The participants’ bone density was measured through X-rays, and their health was monitored every four to five years. They were interviewed and given physical tests, including bone scans and tests for dementia. Of the 3,651 participants, 688 developed dementia, with 90 people in the lowest bone density group and 57 in the highest.
The study did not conclude that lower bone density causes dementia but rather that both conditions commonly affect the same group of people, particularly those who may be less physically active or have poorer nutrition in later life.
According to the lead researcher Dr. Mohammad Arfan Ikram, MD, Ph.D., of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, “this new research could help in the development of strategies to reduce the risk of dementia.” However, he further noted that advanced research is needed to understand the connection between bone density and memory loss, and that bone loss may be an indicator of risk for dementia.
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