There are multiple reasons why years of type 2 diabetes may lead to dementia. One reason is related to the effects that diabetes has on the heart, as heart health is related to the brain! Heart disease and elevated blood pressure are both associated with strokes that, in turn, can lead to dementia. However, strokes do not appear to be the complete answer, as some studies found that diabetes led to an increase risk of dementia even when strokes were controlled for.
Another factor relates to the episodes of hypoglycemia that commonly occur in diabetes. Although tight control of blood sugars has been proven to reduce the long-term risks of heart disease and strokes, tight control can also lead to hypoglycemia, memory loss and dementia. Here, the reason is likely because low blood sugars are known to damage the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain.
One of the more intriguing hypotheses is that diabetes directly causes Alzheimer disease. Indeed, Alzheimer’s disease has even been called type 3 diabetes, because of shared molecular and cellular features among diabetes and Alzheimer’s. For example, insulin plays a critical role in the formation of amyloid plaques, and insulin is also involved in the phosphorylation of tau, which leads to neurofibrillary tangles. In other words, whereas insulin resistance in the body can lead to type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance in the brain can lead to the plaques and tangles of Alzheimer’s disease.
Reduce your risk of diabetes and dementia
The good news is that you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes — and your risk of dementia. Speak with your doctor today about whether the following lifestyle modifications would be right for you.
• Eat a Mediterranean style menu of food.
• Treat high cholesterol.
• Don’t smoke
• Maintain a healthy body weight with exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes.
• Treat high blood pressure.
Lastly, social activities and a positive attitude including new learning and skills social activities, a positive attitude, learning new things. Keeping music in your brain work can help keep your brain at its best and reduce your risk of dementia. *
Personal Senior Care Homes is a residential care facility dedicated to caring for persons that have dementia and Alzheimer Disease which are closely related to diabetes. We look forward to caring for you or your loved one. Please call or email me today for a personal tour of our homes. Steve Brock 513-870-9228.
*Content taken from The Diabetes Association of America.