Sugar cravings? Beware of frontotemporal dementia

January 19, 2015

Sugar cravings? Beware of frontotemporal dementia

A new study conducted by the University of New South Wales, from the group of Neuroscience Research, Australia, and published in the December in JAMA Neurology, suggests that if there are any patients taking sweets compulsively, accompanied by an increase weight and development of difficulty swallowing, then you have to consider to find ourselves before a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
The results demonstrate that patients with some types of FTD, eat significantly more carbohydrates and sugar than in healthy controls or patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and that these changes do not seem to be explained by changes in appetite.
In fact, if there is someone that between fifty and sixty years shows changes in food preferences and the amount of food there is definitely a greater predisposition to neurodegenerative diseases.
This study is really the first to try to measure the controls of eating disorders in these patients.
The analysis included the completion of questionnaires that examine changes in eating behaviours regarding swallowing, appetite, habits and food preferences: preference for sweet, the same food, changes in appetite.
The researchers found that the FTD group had significantly higher scores than the group of AD.
The most crucial is that the answers in the FTD group determined that, while satiated, the urge for food intake was always sweet.
In addition, these patients have body mass indexes greater and this raises concerns about their overall health, and cardiovascular risks related diseases such as diabetes.
Upon further investigation they discovered in patients with FTD, atrophy in the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that plays a central role in regulating appetite.
In FTD , atrophy predominantly affects the frontal and temporal lobes; in AD, on the contrary, are affected the other regions of the brain.
As foods that are sweet are very attractive for most of us, the people with FTD have the ability to deny them the pleasure and have a greater inhibition and compulsiveness.
This is due to dysfunction of the frontal lobe, the part of the brain that is involved in our ability to judge the consequences of eating behaviour.