Abnormal Eating and Sucrose Preference in Dementia

While abnormal eating behaviors are recognized in behavioral frontotemportal dementia (bvFTD) patients, not much has been reported has been found on the effects on their metabolic health until recently, according to lead author Rebekah Ahmed, MD. The study is due to be presented in a poster session on Apr. 20 at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Washington, DC.

While abnormal eating behaviors are recognized in behavioral frontotemportal dementia (bvFTD) patients, not much has been reported has been found on the effects on their metabolic health until recently, according to lead author Rebekah Ahmed, MD. The study is due to be presented in a poster session on Apr. 20 at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Washington, DC.

A total of 49 participants were gathered made up of 18 bvFTD, 16 Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 15 normal patients. Ahmed and colleagues measured their calories intake of an ad-lib test meal. Also, the participants did taste tests of desserts with different sucrose content. This allowed the team to identify their sweetness preference.

After their BMI measurements were compared with 100 motor neuron disease (MND) patients, the relationship with eating behavior was evaluated.

“BvFTD patients displayed increased caloric intake (p <.01) and a strong sucrose preference compared to both AD patients and normal controls,” the authors wrote. “BMI measurements were high (p. <.01) in the bvFTD, and FTDMND groups compared to the pure MND and control groups, suggesting that as cognitive impairment increases so too does BMI.”

The team also revealed that the bvFTD patients had higher levels of insulin and triglyceride, but lower HDL cholesterol. This implies that those individuals are insulin resistant.

It was concluded that abnormal eating behavior, strong sucrose preference, and changes in BMI are prominent in bvFTD patients. Also, they have a similar blood metabolic profile when compared to those MND.