High blood sugar may raise Alzheimer’s risk


I’ve talked before about the evidence linking diabetes to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but now a new study suggests that elevated blood sugar levels increase Alzheimer’s risk even in those without diabetes, even in those without ‘pre-diabetes’.

The study used data from 124 cognitively normal, non-diabetic adults (aged 47-68) with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Higher faster serum glucose levels were associated with lower rates of metabolism in brain regions associated with reduced metabolism in Alzheimer’s. This link was not affected by the presence or otherwise of the so-called ‘Alzheimer’s gene’ (ApoE4).

The finding raises additional questions about the role of the metabolic process in the development of Alzheimer’s.


[3403] Burns CM, Chen K, Kaszniak AW, Lee W, Alexander GE, Bandy D, Fleisher AS, Caselli RJ, Reiman EM. Higher serum glucose levels are associated with cerebral hypometabolism in Alzheimer regions. Neurology [Internet]. 2013 ;80(17):1557 - 1564. Available from: http://www.neurology.org/content/80/17/1557

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