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Feb 27
Overeating may cause memory loss too
Overeating has been linked to a host of health hazards like high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Conditions such as memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer's may also be added to the list soon, according to a new study.

Preliminary findings of a study on ageing conducted by the Mayo Clinic indicate that overeating may greatly increase the risk of memory loss for elderly people.

The results found a correlation between caloric intake in the elderly and the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) -- the stage between normal age-related memory loss and early Alzheimer's disease.

In 2006, the Mayo Clinic chose a random sample of 1,233 people in Minnesota, aged between 70 and 89 years, with none previously diagnosed with dementia.

They asked the participants to fill out a questionnaire describing their diets over the previous year. On the basis of their answers, the researchers grouped the participants into three categories: those whose daily caloric consumption was between 600 and 1,526 calories; between 1,526 and 2,143; and between 2,143 and 6,000.

Each participant then underwent a series of MRI brain scans and cognitive tests. Correlating caloric intake with test performance, the researchers found the odds of having MCI more than doubled for those in the highest calorie-consuming group compared with those in the lowest calorie group.

"With MCI, the person is not demented. But when you test them on certain memory tests they do poorly as compared to their age-, education- and sex-matched peers," study author Yonas Geda was quoted as saying by Scientific American.

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