Diabetes Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
Although we know about the disease of diabetes and how to treat it, it is still not 100% certain how it comes about. The same goes for Alzheimer’s disease. In studies that have been done, those that have been diagnosed with diabetes in the middle of life had a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease later on down the road. In looking for a connection between the two diseases, it appeared that the levels of blood glucose and beta amyloid, both of which can be found in the brain, may interact with each other in a manner that damages the blood vessels in the brain.
There is speculation that preventing diabetes, or managing it, can help to prevent or reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. During the study, it was found that by maintaining proper levels of blood sugar, there may be a possibility of reducing the risk in those that are diabetic and even in those that are not. It is felt that the blood glucose level that we have has an effect on the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that is connected to our motor skills, emotions, and memory. Naturally, there will need to be further studies to be sure of the theory, however, it does seem as though that taking the measures to prevent or maintain diabetes can go a long way in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. This may be due to the possibility that the diet and exercise that is good for the body and the brain to control diabetes is also good for the brain when it comes to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
It was also found at the time of the study that cholesterol levels, blood pressure and even patients’ body mass indexes, did not have as much of an effect on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as the level of blood glucose. The gene ApoE-4 may also be a deciding factor, as it is the gene found in patients that have Alzheimer’s. However, it is not a deciding factor on whether or not a patient may develop the disease later in life; it simply puts the patient at a higher risk. There have also be ties between diabetes and MCI (mild cognitive impairment) as well. Those with the disease were found to be at a higher risk for diabetes that those that did not have it.
The brain is a mysterious organ of the body, and it reacts to many different medical conditions and medications as well. Just as with any other part of the body, it is important to exercise it, feed it well and give it plenty of rest in order for it to work correctly. Perhaps this is a link, as taking care of your body helps to maintain diabetes or even prevent the disease, so by looking after one disease, you may be able to prevent another. It all comes down to taking better care of ourselves and making the decision to put the right things in our bodies to keep them working.
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