Diabetes can lead to numerous grim health issues, including blindness, kidney failure and heart disease, which puts those who suffer from the condition at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and even death. New evidence shows that diabetes can also add significant risk for developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Adding to the evidence that diabetes can seriously affect health is a new study from Japan that found people with diabetes are twice as likely to face dementia-related diseases as their non-diabetic counterparts.The details of the research appear in the journal .
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to regulate the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood glucose provides the body with energy to perform daily activities. It is produced by the liver from the foods consumed.
The blood glucose level in a healthy individual is regulated by several hormones, including insulin. Produced by the pancreas, insulin allows glucose to move from the blood into liver, muscle, and fat cells, to be used as fuel. People having diabetes suffer from either an insufficient production of insulin, known as type 1 diabetes, or their body is incapable of using insulin properly, which is defined as type 2 diabetes. In some cases, both issues occur in people having diabetes.
While mounting evidence supports a link between diabetes and dementia, the mechanism by which it occurs remains unclear. However, scientists theorize that it could be linked to the high blood sugar caused by insulin resistance, as high blood sugar may interfere with the body's ability to break down a protein known to form brain plaques linked to Alzheimer's disease.
High blood sugar can also lead to cell damage through a process known as oxidative stress in which glucose produces certain oxygen-containing molecules that can harm cells. In addition, high blood sugar in combination with high cholesterol promotes a condition known as atherosclerosis in which hardening and narrowing of the brain’s arteries occurs that can lead to the onset of vascular dementia, a condition caused by artery blockages that destroy brain tissue.
Details of the Study on Page 2