Hormone Leptin Tied to Lower Alzheimer's
The researchers at Boston University say if confirmed, their findings, which appear in The Journal of the American Medical Association, could prove important in the hunt for effective prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's, WebMD reported.
Leptin, which is produced by fat cells, is considered critical for regulating hunger and weight. The body of evidence is growing that it also plays a role in brain development and memory.
Research shows leptin reduces concentrations of B-amyloid, the major component of the deposits, or plaques, that occur in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.
The latest study of 785 elderly people found that after 12 years of follow-up, those with the lowest leptin levels were roughly four times more likely than those with the highest levels to develop Alzheimer's disease.
"Our study raises a strong possibility that leptin may actually have a role in the various pathological processes that result in clinical Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Sudha Seshadri, a senior researcher at Boston University School of Medicine, told WebMD.