Diabetes and Alzheimer’s

There are many reasons to stay away from Diabetes or to keep it under control if you already have it. For example, there are higher risks of heart disease, stroke and a foot or leg amputation. However, let’s never forget that Diabetes is also a significant risk factor for dementia.
While researchers are still figuring out what causes that elevated risk when it comes to Diabetes and Dementia, It’s a fact that dementia is associated with highs and lows of blood sugar. Read on to find out exactly why and precisely how.

What Is the Link Between Diabetes and Dementia?

We live in a society where type 2 diabetes is more prevalent than ever before due to obesity, inactivity, and an aging population. Although doctors don’t know exactly how cognitive decline and Diabetes interact, they do know that high blood sugar or insulin can damage the brain in a number of ways.
The majority of patients with Diabetes have Type 2, which usually occurs with obesity and lack of exercise. In cases of uncontrolled Diabetes, too much sugar remains in the bloodstream. Organs, such as the brain, can suffer damage over time as a result. Several research studies involving large groups over many years suggest Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are linked.

Doctor measuring blood sugar level of diabetic patient in clinic, diabetes and Alzheimer's

How Diabetes Can Lead to Dementia

Dementia may develop by a number of factors, including years of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes affects the heart in a number of ways, including:

  • Heart health: Heart health affects brain health. High blood pressure and heart disease contribute to strokes, leading to dementia. 
  • Hypoglycemia: A second factor is a hypoglycemia, which frequently occurs in diabetics. Even though tight blood sugar control can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, tight control can also cause hypoglycemia, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. There is because low blood sugars damage the hippocampus, which is the brain’s memory center.
  • Genetics: It is also possible that genetics is to blame. As a result of APOE4, a variant of the Alzheimer’s gene, brain cells may not be able to use insulin, causing them to starve and die.
  • Protein tau: Food and other supplies constantly move through your cells along pathways like railroad tracks. This protein tau keeps the tracks running straight into, out of, and through the cells. Alzheimer’s causes tau to get tangled in the brain. When the tracks fall apart, cells die because they are unable to move stuff. Diabetes patients have more tangled tau in their brains and could develop dementia if their brains have more dying cells.

What are the Hopes When Dealing with Diabetes and Dementia?

An intriguing hypothesis suggests Diabetes is directly responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. Due to the shared molecular and cellular features of Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease has even been referred to as “type 3 diabetes.” But there is good news: diabetes type 2 can be reduced, and the risk of dementia.

Several researchers asked if insulin delivered via an intranasal mist could help patients with brain diabetes. Clinical research results from a phase 2 trial have raised hopes. There was a successful outcome. According to researchers, the patient’s cognitive decline slowed down or even reversed. The collaborative study aims to develop into a broader phase 3 study with the National Institutes of Health’s support.

Why is Alzheimer’s Called Type 3 Diabetes?

As evidence grew linking Alzheimer’s disease to insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism, the term “Type 3 diabetes” emerged. As a result of Alzheimer’s intricate relationship with diabetes mellitus and the detrimental effects that insulin dysregulation has on the brain, it is traditionally referred to as “Type 3 diabetes”.

Research has found that insulin influences memory, cognition, and neuronal function in the brain. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance can cause elevated blood glucose levels, which can affect the brain as well. Alzheimer’s disease appears to be characterized by the same insulin resistance mechanisms as diabetes.

According to studies, people with diabetes are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, suggesting a common underlying cause. In addition, abnormal proteins found in Alzheimer’s, such as beta-amyloid, impair insulin signalling in the brain, causing cognitive decline.

diabetes and dementia

Reducing your Risk of Diabetes and Dementia

It may help your brain to maintain a healthy Glycated hemoglobin level if you manage your blood sugar levels. Get in touch with your doctor to find out whether the following modifications are right for you:

  • Workout: By following The Best Exercises to Reduce Dementia Risk, your cells will be able to use insulin more efficiently, improving your blood sugar management. Physical activity increases oxygenation of the brain and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet: A Mediterranean diet is associated with better cognitive performance on memory tests and controlling Diabetes, according to research. 

Read here: Mediterranean diet prevents dementia.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight: Your body mass index (BMI) is an indicator of general health, make sure to check out the Healthy Weight Chart for Seniors.
  • Treat high blood pressure: we recommend Healthy Recipes to Fight High Blood Pressure in order to reduce your Risk of Diabetes and Dementia.

Even if you do not have Diabetes or prediabetes, these changes can be beneficial in order to reduce the risk of dementia for yourself.

Final Words

Diabetes, as well as dementia, becomes more prevalent as people age. In fact, according to the CDC, 463 million adults are living with diabetes worldwide. Good management of blood glucose levels is one of the lifestyle changes people can make to maintain better heart and brain health. For more ways to keep you or your loved ones safe, check out Vitamins to Prevent Dementia .

Source Diabetes and dementia What’s the relationship between diabetes and dementia? Alzheimer's and Diabetes: What's the Link?
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1 year ago

When I realized I had type 2 diabetes, my world felt like it had turned upside down. I had heard about the complications of the disease, including heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage, but what worried me most was the increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So, here’s what I did back then:
I started eating a healthier diet, exercising more regularly, and taking my medication as prescribed. Although I’m still worried about the future, I feel empowered knowing I’m taking control of my health. I realized that by managing my diabetes, I’m not only reducing my risk of Alzheimer’s but also improving my overall well-being. And with each passing day, I feel more confident in my ability to live a full and healthy life, no matter the future. 🙂

David. Rd
David. Rd
1 year ago

As of now, diabetes has been my only concern. The next one seems to be Alzheimer’s disease.