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Keeping a healthy blood sugar level can lower risk for Alzheimer’s

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Keeping a healthy blood sugar level can lower risk for Alzheimer’s

cropped view of senior man playing with puzzles

People who have diabetes or metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that often lead to diabetes) have twice the risk of dementia, new research shows. Scientists are now investigating why and are conducting research to better understand the link between blood sugar and the brain’s health.

A number of theories exist. One study showed that diets that include lots of fat and sugar are more likely to develop both diabetes and impaired memory in mice, potentially speeding the development of Alzheimer’s. Other studies have shown that sleep problems are another link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes, because abnormal levels of blood sugar can lead to disrupted sleep – a known risk factor for cognitive decline.

While this research is being conducted on animals, the goal is for it to result in learnings that will eventually help people. Understanding why diabetes increases Alzheimer’s risk can lead us to developing new drugs and treatments to help prevent the disease.