New Study Links Low Bone Density to an Increased Risk of Dementia

Bone Density Medical Scan

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A brand-new research study recommends that people with low bone density might deal with a greater danger of establishing dementia, though it just develops an association and not causation in between the 2 conditions.

According to a research study just recently released in the online problem of Neurology— the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology– people with low bone density might deal with a higher danger of establishing dementia in contrast to those with high bone density. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the research study just develops a connection and does not show that low bone density is a direct reason for dementia.

“Low bone density and dementia are two conditions that commonly affect older people simultaneously, especially as bone loss often increases due to physical inactivity and poor nutrition during dementia,” stated research study author Mohammad Arfan Ikram, MD,Ph D., of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam,Netherlands “However, little is known about bone loss that occurs in the period leading up to dementia. Our study found that bone loss indeed already occurs before dementia and thus is linked to a higher risk of dementia.”

The research study included 3,651 individuals with a typical age of 72, living in the Netherlands, who did not have dementia at the start of the research study.

Over approximately 11 years, 688 individuals or 19% established dementia.

Researchers took a look at X-rays to determine bone density. Participants were talked to every 4 to 5 years and finished physical tests such as bone scans and tests for dementia.

Of the 1,211 individuals with the most affordable overall body bone density, 90 individuals established dementia within 10 years, compared to 57 of the 1,211 individuals with the greatest bone density.

After changing for elements such as age, sex, education, other health problems and medication usage, and a household history of dementia, scientists discovered that within 10 years, individuals with the most affordable overall body bone density were 42% most likely to establish dementia than individuals in the greatest group.

“Previous research has found factors like diet and exercise may impact bones differently as well as the risk of dementia,” Ikram included. “Our research has found a link between bone loss and dementia, but further studies are needed to better understand this connection between bone density and memory loss. It’s possible that bone loss may occur already in the earliest phases of dementia, years before any clinical symptoms manifest themselves. If that were the case, bone loss could be an indicator of risk for dementia and people with bone loss could be targeted for screening and improved care.”

A constraint of the research study is that individuals were mainly of European origin and aged 70 or older at the start of the research study, so these findings might differ in various races, ethnic backgrounds, and more youthful age.

Reference: “Association of Bone Mineral Density and Dementia: The Rotterdam Study” by Tian Xiao, Samuel Ghatan, Sanne S. Mooldijk, Katerina Trajanoska, Ling Oei, M. Medina Gomez, M. Kamran Ikram, Fernando Rivadeneira and M. Arfan Ikram, 22 March 2023, Neurology
DOI: 10.1212/ WNL.0000000000207220

The research study was moneyed by Erasmus Medical Center and Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, the Research Institute for Diseases in the Elderly, The Netherlands Genomics Initiative, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sports, the European Commission and the Municipality of Rotterdam.