Studies show link between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s

In a recent study in Sweden, diabetes in mid-life was found to be associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in later life. The study tested more than 2,000 men for blood glucose levels at age 50 and then tested them again 30 years later. Those with insulin problems at age 50 were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

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.

Do you or a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia? Evan H. Farr is a Certified Elder Law Attorney with a focus on the financial and legal issues surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. At the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, our Alzheimer’s Planning Team provides life-long guidance, management, and oversight on vital issues such as medical and nursing care, housing opt

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.