Research Diabetes Links Alzheimer’s Disease was the article that took my interest this morning please read the following information so you will be given the most up to date Diabetes news.
A new study has confirmed a long-held suspicion that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The latest findings are based on research in Japan that followed over 1,000 men and women, age 60 and older. 27 percent of the participants who were diabetic at the outset of the study eventually developed dementia, compared to 20 percent of those with normal blood sugar levels.
“We have clearly demonstrated that diabetes is a significant risk factor for the development of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Yutaka Kiyohara, professor at the Kyushu University in Fukuoka in Japan and lead author of the study report.
What was revealed Research Diabetes Links Alzheimer’s Disease
The researchers began studying residents of the town of Hisayama in the early 1960s. The original focus was on cardiovascular disease. In the mid-1980s, they started to observe the development of dementia. Each participant was monitored for an average time period of 11 years. The results were recently published in the journal, “Neurology.”
“Diabetes is a common disorder, and the number of people with [the disease] has been growing in recent years all over the world. Controlling diabetes is now more important than ever,” said Dr. Kiyohara.
Indeed, diabetes is dramatically on the rise worldwide. 230 million now suffer from the disease, up from 30 million 20 years ago. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), almost 26 million adults and children have been diagnosed in the United States alone. Another 80 million are considered pre-diabetic, meaning their blood sugar levels are routinely elevated, which can turn into a chronic condition over time if no countermeasures are taken.
The link between diabetes and dementia is not yet fully understood. Diabetes may lead to a particular type of dementia, called “vascular dementia,” in which damage to the blood vessels in the brain inhibits the flow of oxygen. There is also the possibility that the brain’s response to high levels of insulin in the body increases the risk of developing dementia. “There is some evidence that the brain is very sensitive to fuels like sugar and hormones like insulin,” said Dr. Joel Zonszein, professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “How exactly it happens is really speculation, we really don’t know,” he added.
To be sure, not everyone with diabetes develops dementia and not everyone who has dementia is diabetic. But still, studies have shown time and again that those with Type-2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop a type of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Type-2 diabetes patients often develop insulin resistance, a condition in which their cells can’t properly use insulin to absorb glucose in the bloodstream. To compensate, the pancreas releases additional insulin. The resulting higher insulin levels in the blood can lead to inflammation, which may cause, among other effects, damage to the brain cells. In addition, abnormalities in glucose metabolism and insulin levels in the brain itself may be harmful. Some researchers have therefore suggested that Alzheimer’s disease may actually be “Type-3 diabetes.” Obviously, more studies are needed to prove the existence of these connections.
Currently available measures to prevent or control diabetes may or may not lower the risk of dementia. Some diabetes drugs have been tested for the effectiveness in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. So far, none of these tests have shown more than modest improvement with regards to the symptoms of the disease. They have not stopped progression, which, of course, would be the ultimate goal.
Based on what we know today, preventing or managing diabetes is the best strategy to avoid further complications, one of which may be dementia. This will also reduce the risk of other potentially debilitating effects, including heart- and kidney disease and damage to the optical nerves and nerve endings in the extremities.
Timi Gustafson R.D. is a clinical dietitian and author of the book “The Healthy Diner – How to Eat Right and Still Have Fun”®, which is available on her blog, “Food and Health with Timi Gustafson R.D”
As research continues on Diabetes disease new findings can help us to educate, cope or find you medicines to keep on top of diabetes type 1 and Diabetes type 2 diseases.