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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Dementia risk linked to blood sugar, cholesterol levels at 35

A Person Tests Blood Sugar Levels With A DeviceShare on Pinterest
A new study suggests that cholesterol and blood sugar at age 35 help predict Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of the leading causes of death among Americans 65 and older. Dani Ferrasanjose / Getty Images
  • Researchers have recently investigated the link between cardiovascular measures and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • They found so low high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol), high triglycerides, and blood glucose levels from age 35 are associated with increased Alzheimer’s risk.
  • The authors conclude that early intervention to maintain healthy HDL, triglyceride and glucose levels may lower Alzheimer’s risk.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the fifth main cause of deaths among Americans age 65 and older. There are no proven ways to prevent or retard cognitive decline caused by AD.

Studies shows that while vascular risk burden from age 55 predict AD, whether this link is present in younger individuals or not, is unknown.

Knowing how early this link starts can help researchers understand more about AD as a life-cycle disease.

Recently, researchers from Boston University investigated the link between AD and vascular measures using longitudinal data.

They found that low HDL cholesterol, high triglyceride levels and high blood glucose levels from age 35 are linked to AD later in life.

The study appears in the journal Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“Many people know that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and other health conditions, but they do not realize that it is also a risk factor for dementia,” said Dr. Katy Bray, Public Involvement Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, who was not involved. in the study, tell Medical News Today.

“Keeping the brain healthy as we get older is the best proof of eating a balanced diet, not smoking, drinking within recommended guidelines, exercising regularly, and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check.”

For the study, the researchers included data from 4,932 individuals who were part of the Framingham Heart Study. Participants had an average age of 37 at enrollment and underwent nine exams every 4 years until the age of 70.

At each study, researchers included participants’:

  • HDL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “good”) cholesterol
  • blood glucose levels
  • body mass index (BMI)
  • systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • number of cigarettes smoked per day

From the second examination, the participants also underwent cognitive assessments to track the progress of cognitive decline.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found an inverse relationship between AD and HDL that was measured at the first, second, sixth, and seventh investigations.

The study also linked AD with higher triglyceride levels in the first, second, fifth, sixth, and seventh investigations, independent of medication.

Meanwhile, high blood glucose was significantly linked to the development of AD at each exam.

The researchers also found no link between AD and LDL, BMI, smoking or blood pressure in any study.

MNT it also with dr. Allison B. Reiss, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Long Island School of Medicine and a member of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Advisory Board for Medical, Scientific, and Memory Screening. Dr. Reiss was not involved in this research.

“The brain is full of cholesterol and needs cholesterol to develop and produce nerve cells,” she explained.

“The balance and transport of cholesterol within the brain is carefully controlled, and lipids are very important in brain function. The most prominent of the lipid-related proteins in the brain is ApoE, a protein that transports lipids in the brain and elsewhere.

Some HDL particles contain ApoE (apoE-rich HDL), and this type of apoE-rich HDL is most concentrated in the brain. The quality and quantity of apoE-rich HDL can partly explain the Alzheimer’s disease HDL link, ”she continued.

Xiaoling Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and biostatistics at Boston University School of Medicine, one of the study’s authors, said MNT that improved blood flow to the brain may also explain some of their findings.

She explained that HDL can increase transport and thus reduce the accumulation of amyloid beta plates, which are protein build-ups that are characteristic of AD.

When asked about the link between AD and glucose levels, dr. Zhang said higher blood glucose levels have been linked to higher brain glucose concentrations and more severe plaque in AD brains.

“We know that the brain relies on glucose for energy, but excess glucose in the brain can undergo chemical reactions that make it harmful and inflammation-inducing. When glucose levels are high over long periods of time, chronic neuro-inflammation can develop. ”

– Dr Reiss

“Another problem with high glucose is that it stimulates the release of insulin to lower the glucose, and this can lead to wildly fluctuating sugar levels in the brain, which is very bad for nerve cells,” she explained.

The researchers conclude that early intervention to maintain healthy HDL, triglyceride and glucose levels can lower AD risk.

However, they also notice several limitations on their work. Since their group was white, they say that their findings may not be translated to other demographics.

They further say that due to limitations in their study design, their results may not accurately reflect age-specific trends. Since the researchers did not take fasting blood samples at the first two examinations, their results may be slightly skewed.

When asked about the most important practical takeaways from the study, Dr Reiss said: “Eating less sugar and processed foods and exercising regularly is good for every organ and especially the brain and heart. Monitoring blood glucose and the lipid profile and looking at HDL are excellent preventative measures. ”

“We do not have drugs that increase HDL without causing a lot of side effects and if the HDL is not of good quality, it is pointless to increase it. For now, the best way is to support HDL levels through exercise and physical activity, ”she concluded.

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