J Clin Neurol.  2019 Oct;15(4):517-526. 10.3988/jcn.2019.15.4.517.

The Influence of Body Mass Index at Diagnosis on Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease

  • 1Department of Neurology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neurology, Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hwaseong, Korea. sukyunkang@hanmail.net


AND PURPOSE: Associations between alterations in body mass index (BMI) and cognitive function have been reported in Parkinson's disease (PD). We investigated whether the BMI at a PD diagnosis is associated with cognitive decline and the future development of dementia.
We recruited 70 patients with de novo PD who underwent neuropsychological testing every 3 years and were followed up for more than 6 years. We classified patients into the following three groups based on their BMI at the diagnosis: under-/normal weight (n=21), overweight (n=22), and obese (n=27). We evaluated differences in the rate of cognitive decline over time among the groups using linear mixed models and the conversion rate to dementia using survival analysis.
The obese patients with PD showed a slower deterioration of global cognitive function as well as language and memory functions than did the under-/normal-weight group during the 6-year follow-up. The three BMI groups showed different rates of conversion to dementia (log-rank test: p=0.026). The combined overweight and obese group showed a lower risk of developing dementia compared with the under-/normal-weight group (hazard ratio= 0.36, 95% CI=0.12-0.82, p=0.046).
We have demonstrated that a higher-than-normal BMI at the time of a PD diagnosis has a protective effect against the deterioration of cognitive function and the conversion to dementia.


body mass index; cognitive decline; neuropsychological test; Parkinson disease; Parkinson's disease dementia
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