Insulin resistance increases your risk for dementia
Insulin resistance is another risk factor for chronic disease.
When study participants with the average age of only 40 years had cognitive tests and also a brain MRI done, the researchers concluded that hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose) is associated with subtle brain injury, impaired attention and memory; even in young adults. Diabetes was associated with decreased total cerebral brain and occipital lobar gray matter volumes (Weinstein G, et al. 2015).
You don’t, however, have to have diabetes for insulin resistance to cause problems.
In this study the participants were older with an average age of 63.1 years and nondiabetic (Kerti L, et al. 2013). HbA1c (which is a test for long term glucose control), fasting glucose and insulin were checked and MRI scans were used to assess brain volume and microstructures.
Even without type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, chronically higher blood glucose levels have a negative influence on cognition, possibly related to changes in learning –relevant brain areas. A higher rate of brain atrophy was documented in individuals with higher HbA1c, higher body mass index and high alcohol intake (Enzinger C, et al. 2005).
A lot of people are probably not aware of these facts. The media tend to make it look like we can’t do much to affect memory and the risk of Alzheimer’s, but this is far from true.
You can do a lot to prevent these problems. One of the most important things you can do is to stay as insulin sensitive as possible.
If you have not implemented a diet and lifestyle which will accomplish that, I suggest you do it as soon as possible before you forget.
Learn to Eat: Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.
Blood Glucose Support
Enzinger C1, Fazekas F, Matthews PM, Ropele S, Schmidt H, Smith S, Schmidt R. Risk factors for progression of brain atrophy in aging: six-year follow-up of normal subjects. Neurology. 2005 May 24;64(10):1704-11.
Kerti L1, Witte AV, Winkler A, Grittner U, Rujescu D, Flöel A. Higher glucose levels associated with lower memory and reduced hippocampal microstructure. Neurology. 2013 Nov 12;81(20):1746-52. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000435561.00234.ee. Epub 2013 Oct 23.
Weinstein G1, Maillard P2, Himali JJ2, Beiser AS2, Au R2, Wolf PA2, Seshadri S2, DeCarli C2. Glucose indices are associated with cognitive and structural brain measures in young adults. Neurology. 2015 Jun 9;84(23):2329-37. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001655. Epub 2015 May 6.