• Dementia is a disease that affects the brain and mostly occurs at the later stage in life
  • Scientists ascertained that craving for sweet foods could be an early warning sign of one form
  • This form of dementia is known as frontotemporal dementia

There are many forms of dementia, and the most common are vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and mixed dementia. While each of these forms has differences, they share some common symptoms, which include memory loss, concentration difficulties, and personality changes. There is one form, however, which has a distinct symptom. This form of dementia often exhibits changes in food preferences, such as the desire to eat sweet foods.

Craving For Sweet Foods

Scientists say dementia symptoms often depend on which part of the brain is affected. Frontotemporal dementia, for instance, affects the frontal and temporal lobes, initially causing language or behavior problems. According to health experts, patients who suffer from frontotemporal dementia develop some unusual behaviors they are not even aware of. One of these is a change in food preferences.

A sudden craving for sweet foods and exhibiting poor table manners have been linked by neurologists to frontotemporal dementia. Patients may also become rude or insensitive and may also act rashly or impulsively. They can also appear to be subdued and are unable to empathize with others, making them seem selfish and cold. Compulsive eating and drinking are also among the behavior changes that may be displayed by patients suffering from this type of dementia.

craving for sweet foods is a warning sign of dementia
craving for sweet foods is a warning sign of dementia Free-Photos - Pixabay

More Carbohydrate And Sugar Intake

A study published in the Journal of the Americal Medical Association revealed that patients with frontotemporal dementia or FTD are shown to crave sweets, gain weight, and develop swallowing difficulties. Dr. Rebekah Ahmed, a neurologist, and clinician-scientist with research focusing on metabolic biomarkers in neurodegeneration, said that patients with certain types of FTD consume significantly more carbohydrates and sugar. These changes do not appear to be explained by being hungrier.

Dr. Ahmed revealed that by using unique obesity research methods, they were able to quantify sucrose preference and total intake in frontotemporal dementia. They also found that changes in eating behavior resulting from FTD are being controlled by complex brain networks and tend to affect people who are 45 to 65 years old.

Lifestyle Interventions

At present, doctors say there is no known way to prevent this type of dementia, but lifestyle interventions can slow down its onset. In a first-of-its-kind study examining the link between frontotemporal dementia and lifestyle factors, researchers found that an active physical and mental lifestyle can help provide resilience to FTD. Their findings were also shown to be consistent in participants with genetic profiles that make them prone to develop this form of dementia.