Another study that was conducted last month in Japan had similar findings. More than 1000 men and women above the age of 60 participated in the new study. Researchers found that older people with diabetes were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and 1.75 times more likely to develop dementia of any kind.
CNN reports that scientists aren’t exactly sure why diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s, but they have a few ideas. High blood sugar and high cholesterol can harden and narrow the arteries in the brain. This can kill brain tissue, cause strokes, and bring about vascular dementia. Insulin resistance may also hinder the body from breaking down a protein which forms brain plaques that cause Alzheimer’s.
Although more research needs to be conducted to further clarify the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer's, it seems clear that preventing or controlling diabetes could be very good for your brain. Keeping blood sugar levels in check can lessen or possibly stave off even normal age-related cognitive decline in those that have diabetes and those who do not.
How does one go about reducing the risk for diabetes? A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are essential components of a diabetes prevention or management program -- two lifestyle factors that have also been shown to be good for the brain.
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