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Type 2 Diabetes Can Increase the Risk of Developing Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer Brain

High levels of blood sugar in the body are problematic. They can lead to a number of serious health issues, including hyperglycemia, kidney disease, heart disease, and of course, diabetes. However, a new study from Tulane University, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that high blood sugar might also have a link to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disease that currently affects an estimated 36 million people worldwide. It is most commonly found to affect men and women over the age of 65. This is a particularly devastating disease as it impacts everything from memory function to mobility, and even personality. Sadly, there is not yet a cure for the disease. Much research is being done to prevent and understand Alzheimer's, though.

The Tulane University study, for instance, found that high blood sugar levels in the body (typically associated with Type 2 diabetes), made beta amyloid proteins more toxic to cells that line the blood vessels in the brain. How does this relate to Alzheimer's disease? Beta amyloid proteins have previously been linked to the disease. This brain plaque is thought to affect the nerve cells that relate to processing information, recollection and memories, as well as the way our bodies move.

So, what does this mean exactly? Researchers involved in the study believe that high blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes patients can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease...and it's all thanks to the toxic beta amyloid protein. They found that high glucose levels are directly linked to the onset of dementia. Dr. David Busija, senior investigator, regents professor, and chair of pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine, said of the findings: "recent evidence indicates damaged cerebral blood vessels compromised by high blood sugar plays a role. Even though the links among Type 2 diabetes, brain blood vessels, and Alzheimer's progression are not yet clear, hyperglycemia appears to play a role."

The link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease doesn't stop at the Tulane University study. More research is currently being conducted to explore how these diseases affect one another. According to The American Diabetes Association and the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Centre, many senior citizens who develop Type 2 diabetes find themselves struggling with memory problems and various other forms of dementia - including Alzheimer's disease. This tends to occur because of insulin levels. When brain cells become resistant to insulin, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease beings to increase. This is important, as diabetes is estimated to affect 27% of all people 65 and over.

One thing has become clear from these studies: it is more important than ever to create awareness of this issue. By spreading the word, men and women of all ages can start to focus on taking preventative measures. Some of those preventative measures may include: maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly, and challenging your brain.

Both diabetes and Alzheimer's disease affect millions of senior citizens across the globe. With research strengthening the link between the two diseases, there is no denying that prevention is more important than ever.

Are you looking for more information about Alzheimer's disease? Contact the Age Matters Clinic at: 647-268-0620. We understand how to improve the life of Alzheimer's and memory loss patients.