Amac Neurology




The Link Between Dementia and Obesity: What You Need to Know

Obesity, particularly in midlife, has been shown to increase the risk of developing dementia in later years. The 2020 report by the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, and intervention.

How Obesity Increases Dementia Risk


Obesity is associated with chronic inflammation, which can negatively impact brain health. Inflammatory processes can contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia.

Insulin Resistance:

Obesity often leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, both of which are linked to an increased risk of dementia. Insulin resistance can affect brain function and increase the likelihood of cognitive decline.

Vascular Health:

Excess body weight can lead to cardiovascular problems such as 

hypertension and atherosclerosis. These conditions can reduce blood flow to the brain, causing damage to brain cells and increasing the risk of dementia.


Prevention Strategies

Healthy Diet

Adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity-related health issues. Diets such as the Mediterranean diet have been shown to be beneficial for brain health.

Regular Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity helps manage body weight and has been associated with a lower risk of dementia. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

 Managing Health: Regular health check-ups can help monitor and manage conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol levels, which are linked to both obesity and dementia.



The Role of Policy and Public Health

Addressing obesity requires a multifaceted approach that includes individual efforts and public health initiatives. Policies promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and access to healthcare are crucial. Public health campaigns can raise awareness about the link between obesity and dementia and encourage preventive measures.


Obesity is a significant, modifiable risk factor for dementia. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits and supporting public health policies, we can reduce the prevalence of obesity and, consequently, the risk of dementia. It is never too early or too late to make changes that can improve both physical and cognitive health. By taking proactive steps, we can work towards a future with fewer cases of dementia and better quality of life for all.

The Crucial Connection Between Sleep and Cognitive Function in Older Adults – 5/24/2023

Sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment are common in older adults, with a growing body of evidence suggesting a significant connection between the two. As we age, maintaining quality sleep becomes increasingly important for preserving cognitive health. This blog explores the link between sleep disturbances and cognitive function, the biological mechanisms involved, and potential avenues for improving cognitive outcomes through better sleep.

Observational Study Findings

Research has identified several types of sleep disturbances that are linked to cognitive impairment:

Sleep Duration

Both insufficient and excessive sleep durations have been associated with cognitive decline. Optimal sleep duration, generally considered to be 7-8 hours per night, is associated with better cognitive function. Studies suggest that deviations from this optimal range can negatively impact memory, attention, and executive function.

Sleep Fragmentation

Frequent awakenings and poor sleep continuity can impair cognitive performance. Sleep fragmentation affects the brain’s ability to consolidate memories and process information efficiently. It has been linked to difficulties in attention and problem-solving skills.

Sleep-Disordered Breathing

Conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, have been strongly associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle, leading to decreased oxygen levels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.

Less Consistent Evidence for Other Sleep Issues

While strong evidence exists for the impact of sleep duration, fragmentation, and sleep-disordered breathing on cognitive function, the associations between other sleep disturbances and cognition are less clear:


Chronic insomnia may contribute to cognitive decline, but the evidence is not as robust. Some studies suggest that difficulty falling or staying asleep can affect cognitive health, while others find no significant association.

Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction Disruptions

In the body’s internal clock, which regulates sleep-wake cycles, may also play a role in cognitive impairment. However, the evidence linking circadian rhythm disorders directly to cognitive decline is still emerging and requires further research.

Amyloid Clearance

During deep sleep, the brain’s glymphatic system becomes more active, helping to clear amyloid-beta, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Poor sleep can lead to the accumulation of amyloid plaques, contributing to cognitive decline.


Sleep disturbances can lead to chronic inflammation in the brain, which is linked to cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases.

Synaptic Plasticity

Sleep is crucial for synaptic plasticity, the brain’s ability to strengthen or weaken synapses in response to learning and experience. Disrupted sleep can impair synaptic plasticity, affecting memory consolidation and cognitive function.

Future Directions and Implications

Understanding the link between sleep and cognition is vital for developing strategies to prevent cognitive decline. Future studies should aim to clarify the precise mechanisms underlying this association and identify people at risk of cognitive disorders. This knowledge could facilitate the development of novel therapies to treat and potentially prevent both sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment.


The connection between sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment underscores the importance of maintaining good sleep hygiene, especially as we age. By addressing sleep issues such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and fragmented sleep, we can potentially improve cognitive outcomes and reduce the risk of dementia. As research continues to unravel the complexities of sleep and cognition, we move closer to finding effective interventions that promote both better sleep and brain health.


1. The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care: 2020 report.
2. Various meta-analyses and systematic reviews on sleep and cognitive function in older adults.

Dementia at a Basic Level – 5/13/2024

Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that affect the brain, making it hard for people to remember things, think clearly, communicate, and take care of themselves. It isn’t just one disease but a general term for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type. It mainly affects older people, but getting older doesn’t mean you will definitely get dementia. There are about 55 million people around the world who have dementia, and each year about 10 million new people are diagnosed.

The reasons people get dementia depend on the type they have. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease happens because of abnormal build-ups in the brain that damage brain cells. Another type, called vascular dementia, can happen after a stroke when the brain doesn’t get enough blood. Other causes might include serious head injuries, certain infections that affect the brain, or diseases passed down in families. Although there is no cure for dementia right now, there are treatments and therapies that can help people manage the symptoms and improve their quality of life.