Connection Between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s
Category : How Diabetes Affects The Brain
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating neurological condition that slowly but inexorably destroys the ability to think, eventually robbing a person of both his memory and ability to function independently.
Alzheimer’s delivers a crushing blow not only to the affected individual, but also to family members, who frequently struggle to provide the ever-growing levels of care required by the patient.
While medical researchers have yet to pinpoint a single cause of Alzheimer’s disease, they have uncovered some of the basic biochemical processes that underlie the hallmark mental changes seen in Alzheimer’s.
First, Alzheimer’s sufferers exhibit a marked decline in levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter (that is, a chemical messenger of the nervous system) that is vitally important to memory formation and retention in certain regions of the brain.
Second, Alzheimer’s patients demonstrate an accumulation of harmful beta amyloid deposits, or senile plaques, in the brain.
Third, brain autopsies of Alzheimer’s patients show signs of significant oxidative damage induced by free radicals.
Finally, new research indicates that advanced glycation end products may also initiate this dreaded condition.
While declining levels of acetylcholine and formation of beta amyloid plaques in the brain are characteristic of Alzheimer’s, oxidative damage and the accumulation of advanced glycation end products occur in both Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
These biochemical similarities may be a telling link between the two seemingly different diseases.
Swedish scientists unveiled findings associating diabetes with an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s, particularly in those with very high blood pressure.
Scientists also discovered that diabetics with very poor blood sugar control were more likely to develop dementia.
Compared to those with normal glycosylated hemoglobin levels (< 7), those with levels greater than 12 were 22% more likely to develop dementia, while those with levels greater than 15 were 78% more likely to develop dementia.
According to the study , effective blood sugar control may lower risk of another diabetes-associated complication—dementia.
Know Your Blood Sugar Levels, Reduce Your Alzheimer’s Risk
Scientists found that the link between insulin resistance and poorer cognition is present years before both the onset of severe cognitive problems and, in many cases, before the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.
More than 1 out of 3 adults have prediabetes, a condition in which the body’s blood sugar levels are too high – but not high enough to be classified as diabetic.
During prediabetes, the body becomes increasingly resistant to insulin. However, 9 of out 10 people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
That’s why it’s so important, especially if you are overweight, have high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels, to get your blood sugar levels checked with a routine blood test. Your doctor can perform one during your next appointment.
If you learn that you do have diabetes, a 2015 study in the World Journal of Diabetes shows that properly managing the disease through prescription medications may reduce or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
People with uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes open themselves up to health issues from insulin resistance, particularly its negative effects on the brain’s blood vessels and nerves.
However, prediabetes is not only treatable, but reversible.
Lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, may decrease the percentage of prediabetic patients who develop diabetes to 20 percent.
By reducing your risk of diabetes, you can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com
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