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High Blood Sugar Linked to Dementia

It's been commonly suggested that type 2 diabetics have a higher risk of dementia (the most common form of dementia being Alzheimer's disease). In fact, newer research is suggesting Alzheimer's is a form of "type 3 diabetes." This new study shows it's just not diabetics with the higher risk, but just simply higher blood sugar (even without a diagnosis of diabetes).

Researchers analyzed 2067 participants who took part in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. All had at least one follow-up visit and at least five measurements of blood glucose or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) over the course of at least 2 years before entering the study. Blood sugar levels were averaged over a five-year period were and then analysed for and links to the risk of dementia.

The results showed that people with diabetes has a 40% higher risk of dementia than non-diabetics, but found that even non-diabetics had up to an 18% higher risk depending on the blood sugar levels. This suggests that higher levels of glucose may have negative effects on an aging brain--definitely a concern with the increasing incidence of diabetes in the general population, but also the increasing incidence of dementia.

What was a surprising finding, however, was that there was no threshold value for lower glucose values where risk leveled off. Basically what this means is that the lower blood glucose, the better...you're not necessarily safe if you can control blood glucose below a certain level.

Another important thing to consider: the lead researcher commented there is no data currently available to suggest that people who make dietary changes to lower their blood sugar would lower their dementia risk. I guess it's possible, but this study wasn't designed to answer this question, so more research needs to be done.

Source: Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia

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