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More Leptin May Mean Less Alzheimer's

Study Shows High Levels of the Hormone Linked to Lower Rates of Alzheimer's Disease

Leptin Replacement Therapy continued...

Ashford is with the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center in Stanford, Calif.

"Tau is a fundamental protein that helps transport along the fibers of the brain," he tells WebMD. "If leptin lowers tau concentrations in the spinal fluid, that tells us something is going on. That's why we only need 45 patients to show an effect."

Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, of the Alzheimer's Association, calls the leptin research promising. But she warns that clinical treatments based on the research are years away, if they happen at all.

She says the study reinforces the growing recognition that lifestyle-related health issues like obesity and insulin resistance increase the risk for late-life dementia.
Obese people in the study tended to have lower leptin levels.

"This gives us more information about how maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and avoiding diseases like diabetes all come together to help protect our brains as we age," she says.

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