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Weight gain may fight dementia

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Increasing the weight of people with Alzheimers disease also improves their intellectual abilities, according to a small Swedish study.

Increasing the weight of people with Alzheimers disease also improves their intellectual abilities, according to a small Swedish study.

Over a three-month period, researchers measured the weight changes of two groups of patients - an intervention group and a control group - with moderate to severe dementia.

Of the 18 patients in the intervention group, where positive changes were made to meal and eating environments, 13 put on weight. Researchers noted a significant improvement in the intellectual functions of all 13 that gained weight. These patients ate meals together and food was served in bowels so they could serve themselves, if they liked.

Patients who gained weight also had better scores for the symptoms of confusion, anxiety and depression, the authors added.

Journal of Clinical Nursing (2007) 16: 987-986

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