Alzheimer's, Diabetes Link Strengthened
> 7/17/2006 9:17:06 AM

At the opening day of this year's International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, a team from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute presented the results of a longitudinal study that has tied elevated blood sugar levels to increased risk of developing Alzheimer's. Previous researchers have drawn connections between diabetes and dementia later in life, but the Stockholm group's info points to an even more troubling link.

The evidence that they presented shows that an even lower, albeit still above normal, blood sugar level may be all that is necessary for there to be an increased risk of Alzheimer's. The levels that they used are often considered pre-diabetic, as they do not qualify for Type 2 status, but are still greater than average. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as 41 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 74 likely are pre-diabetic. When we extrapolate that out, what we have is an enormously increased population of folks who could potentially be dealing with Alzheimer's.

As the U.S. population ages, both Alzheimer's and diabetes have become important pieces of the overall discussion about healthcare. This new information only serves to highlight how many of these problems can and should be studied and approached in conjunction. Doctors of diabetic patients would do well to speak about these new results with their clients. Those dealing with diabetes need to be aware, and will now have yet another potentially negative outcome to prevent through diligent treatment.

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