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The Alzheimer’s diet

My dad was a big guy all his life, way over 200 pounds, and often trying to shed a few pounds. But his sweet tooth always got the best of him.

In the late 1980s, he began to shed weight and everyone thought it was great. He was walking every day but his sweet tooth continued. We wondered, later, if the weight loss was related to his Alzheimer's.

Now, in our family, when someone is dieting, we say: "Well, you can just wait for the Alzheimer's diet."

On Monday, the U.S. National Library of Medicine sent out a press release that finally links this early weight loss with an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease, perhaps part of the "metabolic dysfunction" that occurs with the disease.

Concerning weight and Alzheimer's: Studies show that people who are overweight in mid-life, like my father was, are at greater risk. But those who are overweight in later years "actually have a lower risk of Alzheimer's, something known as the 'obesity paradox,'" according to the press release.


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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.