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Accelerated Weight Loss May Signal Imminent Dementia Onset

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - ST. LOUIS, Sept. 11 -- An early warning sign for Alzheimer's disease could be accelerated weight loss, researchers here suggested.

Among more than 400 healthy older adults ages 65 to 95, followed as part of a longitudinal study of Alzheimer's, those who had a sudden doubling of the rate of weight loss developed dementia about a year later, found David K. Johnson, Ph.D., of Washington University, and colleagues.

"Specific factors contributing to weight loss are unknown, but these data suggest they operate before the development of dementia of Alzheimer's type," the authors reported in the Sept. 11 issue of Archives of Neurology. "Hence, weight loss may be a preclinical indicator of Alzheimer disease."

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