Your bone health can determine if you are at risk of dementia; Here’s how

During the study, researchers looked at X-rays to identify bone density.

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The subsequent changes in the structure and strength of the bones may ultimately lead to an increasing risk of fractures. (File)

Adequate bone density is an extremely important parameter for a healthy body. A new study has revealed that people with low bone density are more likely to get dementia. The findings of the study were recently published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

It is noteworthy that the findings of the study only show an association and it does not prove that low bone density causes 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,” said study author Mohammad Arfan Ikram, MD, PhD, of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands as quoted by news agency Reuters.

Around 3,650 people in the Netherlands with an average age of 72 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. During the study, researchers looked at X-rays to identify bone density. Participants were interviewed every four to five years and completed physical tests such as bone scans and tests for dementia. According to the study, over an average of 11 years, 688 people or 19% developed dementia.

“Previous research has found factors like diet and exercise may impact bones differently as well as the risk of dementia. 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,” Ikram added.

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First published on: 24-03-2023 at 17:04 IST