Risk factors of Alzheimer's disease and metabolic syndrome can accumulate in childhood

September 25, 2018, University of Eastern Finland
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease is linked to an increased risk of cardiometabolic disorders present in childhood, a new study from Finland shows. Ongoing at the University of Eastern Finland, the findings from the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study, PANIC, were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's is the most common memory disorder. In addition to genetic , the of Alzheimer's disease is also increased by cardiometabolic risk factors, such as . The accumulation of these risk factors is known as the metabolic syndrome. The newly published study explored the association of genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease with cardiometabolic risk factors in 469 primary school children in Kuopio, Finland, during a two-year follow-up. Genetic factors and cardiometabolic risk factors were analysed from blood samples. In addition, body adiposity was measured using a DXA scanner.

The study showed that girls with a higher genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease also had higher levels of LDL cholesterol at the onset of the study. During the two-year follow-up, they also showed abnormal insulin and glucose levels, impaired insulin resistance and other characteristics of the metabolic syndrome more frequently than others. In boys, no similar association was observed.

The association of genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease with cardiometabolic risk factors clearest in overweight and obese girls.

"Overweight and obesity may enhance the detrimental effect of genetic factors on cardiovascular and metabolic health. Healthy lifestyles, such as sufficient sleep, physical exercise and a healthy diet, may, however, reduce the adverse genetic effects," says Dr. Eero Haapala, an Adjunct Professor of Paediatric Exercise Physiology at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä.

The findings indicate that in primary school aged girls, to Alzheimer's disease and factors are linked to one another. However, although these risk factors increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease in adults, further research into the significance of this association in children is still needed.

"We know that the development of cardiovascular diseases can start already in childhood, but similar evidence relating to Alzheimer's disease remains scarce," Adjunct Professor Haapala concludes.

Adjunct Professor Haapala has written a blog post explaining the study and its findings in more detail. The blog is available at: blogs.uef.fi/puheenvuoroja/201 … lready-in-childhood/

Explore further: A gene linked to job-related exhaustion in shift workers increases the risk of Alzheimer's

More information: Eero A. Haapala et al. Associations of Genetic Susceptibility to Alzheimer's Disease with Adiposity and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors among Children in a 2-Year Follow-up Study, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (2018). DOI: 10.3233/JAD-180216

Related Stories

A gene linked to job-related exhaustion in shift workers increases the risk of Alzheimer's

July 6, 2018
A Finnish study published in the respected SLEEP journal shows that a variation in the melatonin receptor 1A (MTNR1A) gene is linked to the risk of Alzheimer's disease in the elderly. The same research team has previously ...

Good motor skills may enhance reading skills in obese children

March 20, 2018
Excess body weight has been linked to poor academic performance in children in several previous studies. A new Finnish study now shows that a high body fat percentage is associated with poor reading skills in 6–8-year-old ...

Risk factors associated with overweight cluster already in children

March 25, 2015
Lifestyle-related cardiometabolic risk factors cluster already in children in the same way as in adults, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland. A cardiometabolic risk score was used to evaluate cardiometabolic ...

Unraveling genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

July 2, 2018
The strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease may impair the brain's ability to convert its primary fuel source into usable energy, finds a study of female mice published in JNeurosci. The research suggests therapeutic ...

Targeted preventive measures for hip fracture are needed for persons with Alzheimer's disease

December 7, 2016
The hip fracture risk factors are generally similar among those with and without Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland. However, the incidence of hip fracture is higher among ...

Sex matters: Addressing the Alzheimer's disease research gap

June 12, 2018
To prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease, scientists need to better understand how the disease differs between women and men, according to a paper published June 12 in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's ...

Recommended for you

Does diabetes damage brain health?

December 14, 2018
(HealthDay)—Diabetes has been tied to a number of complications such as kidney disease, but new research has found that older people with type 2 diabetes can also have more difficulties with thinking and memory.

Amyloid pathology transmission in lab mice and historic medical treatments

December 13, 2018
A UCL-led study has confirmed that some vials of a hormone used in discontinued medical treatments contained seeds of a protein implicated in Alzheimer's disease, and are able to seed amyloid pathology in mice.

Study links slowed brainwaves to early signs of dementia

December 13, 2018
To turn back the clock on Alzheimer's disease, many researchers are seeking ways to effectively diagnose the neurodegenerative disorder earlier.

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

December 11, 2018
Scientists who recently identified the molecular start of Alzheimer's disease have used that finding to determine that it should be possible to forecast which type of dementia will develop over time—a form of personalized ...

Researchers classify Alzheimer's patients in six subgroups

December 5, 2018
Researchers studying Alzheimer's disease have created an approach to classify patients with Alzheimer's disease, a finding that may open the door for personalized treatments.

Neuroscientists pinpoint genes tied to dementia

December 3, 2018
A UCLA-led research team has identified genetic processes involved in the neurodegeneration that occurs in dementia—an important step on the path toward developing therapies that could slow or halt the course of the disease. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.