Dementia: How much do you eat at a buffet? Your answer could signal if you have dementia

Steve Thompson recalls signs of his early-onset dementia

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However, they didn’t always work at such a pace; dementia used to be seen differently.

Rather than as a disease that could be treated and cured, dementia used to be seen as an inevitability of ageing.

Subsequent developments in science have shown this to be false.

Today scientific advancements have also shone a light on how to spot the early symptoms of dementia.

Some of these symptoms can be spotted in the most innocuous of places, such as on holiday.

When one stays at a hotel, be it one in the UK or elsewhere, there is sometimes a breakfast buffet of some description.

How a person is acting at this buffet can be a sign of whether they have a form of dementia.

Research suggests overeating could be a symptom of FTD (frontotemporal dementia).

Doctor Josh Woolley of the UCSF Memory and Ageing Clinic wrote on the link between FTD and eating: “FTD is a disease in which parts of the brain atrophy and it leads to compulsive overeating.

“I’m hoping we might learn something about the brain circuitry involved, and about why people overeat in general.”

In a study conducted by the UCSF, they found FTD patients were more likely to overeat than those without the condition.

Dr Woolley explained: “You’re not full because your stomach is physically full. You’re full because your brain tells you not to eat any more.”

While FTD patients tended to eat more than non-FTD patients, Dr Woolley added this didn’t translate into weight gain:

The reason for the lack of substantial weight gain is unknown.

Meanwhile, a new study has found walking speed could be linked to dementia risk.

Research found slower walkers were more likely to develop dementia than faster walkers.

While this may be concerning to individuals who walk at a slower speed, this does not mean they are guaranteed to develop the disease.

Other risk factors such as age, isolation, diet, and a family history of dementia have a far greater impact.

In the UK, data suggests one in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime.

As a result, campaigners are encouraging the government to get ahead with a strategy to combat dementia.

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