Print version ISSN 0120-4157
ANGELICA MARIA, Muñoz; AGUDELO, Gloria María and LOPERA, Francisco Javier. Nutritional condition in patients with Alzheimer-type dementia from the neurosciences group, Medellín 2004. Biomédica [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.1, pp. 113-125. ISSN 0120-4157.
Introduction. Patients suffering clinical dementia caused by Alzheimer´s disease have a high risk of developing malnutrition caused by all the physiological, socio-economic and psychological changes related to the disease, together with the ageing process. Objective. To describe the nutritional condition of a group of patients with Alzheimer´s dementia according to the degree of disease severity. Patients were selected from the University of Antioquia Neurosciences Group. Materials and methods. Descriptive cross sectional study. Patients were assessed and information was collected about their body composition, food consumption behaviour, clinical, and psychosocial variables. Results. 77 patients were studied; their mean age was 65, 5±12,8 years. 48 had a family history of Alzheimer´s disease; 39 were diagnosed more than 60 months before the study started; the most frequently found degree of severity was moderate, the most common type of dementia was the early family form. 26 began the disease process before they were 50 years old. Significant differences for Body Mass Index, brachial adipose area and brachial lean area were found (p=0,001, p=0,000, p=0,000, respectively) between patients with the different degrees of disease severity. These parameters measures were lowest in patients with severe disease. The intake of calcium and folate was the lowest amongst the nutrients studied. Conclusion. The nutritional state is impaired in patients suffering Alzheimer´s dementia from the early stages of the disease. The most important nutritional and clinical abnormalities found were depletion of the lean and fat stores, low intake of calcium and folate and clinical signs of the disease. Changes in these parameters worsen as the disease progresses.
Keywords : Alzheimer´s disease; nutritional status; clinical evolution; body composition; food consumption; ageing.