Fast Food Linked to Alzheimer’s

STOCKHOLM ~ Eating fast food could contribute to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new Swedish study that offers possible clues to preventing it.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute, a leading medical university in the Swedish capital Stockholm, fed mice on a diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol for nine months to study their behaviour.

“On examining the brains of these mice, we found a chemical change not unlike that found in the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers,” said Susanne Akterin, who conducted the experiment for her doctoral thesis.

The study detected increased levels of phosphate which makes sufferer’s cells become tangled and eventually leads to their death.

The team also found that cholesterol in food reduced the body’s ability to produce another vital memory-storage protein.

The cause of the disease remains unknown, but previous studies indicate diet could be a factor.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and there are believed to be more than 24 million sufferers worldwide, a figure which is set to double every 20 years according to the World Health Organisation.

There are around 860,000 carriers in France alone, with 165,000 others showing symptoms each year. Sweden has 90,000 reported cases of the disease, according to the Karolinska Institute.

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