Our brain is a very sensitive organ. It sharply reacts to the slightest changes in glucose that the body receives to replenish energy. And because of that the brain of the people who have diabetes suffers a lot.
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Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that is characterized by a deficiency in the formation of insulin and an increase in the level of glucose in blood. Among the metabolic disorders, diabetes is on the second place, the first is for obesity. Diabetes affects about 10 per cent of the population, but if you take into account the hidden forms of the disease, then this figure can increase even four times. Taking part in the metabolism of carbohydrates, insulin increases the level of glucose in the cells of the body including the cells of the brain.
Can diabetes influence your brain?
A new study proved that people who have diabetes experience worse cognitive decline in comparison with people who have normal level of sugar in their blood. (For more information visit).
The researchers examined cognitive functioning of more than five thousand volunteers. Among them there are people with diabetes, people in prediabetic stage and people without problems with blood sugar. It is important to clarify, that people whose level of A1c is higher than 6.5 per cent have diabetes, and people whose level of A1c is somewhere between 5.5 and 6.4 per cent are in the prediabetic stage.
The cognitive functions of these people have been studied for eight years and by the end of the research the specialists proved the hypothesis that the level of blood sugar influences the brain a lot and cognitive functions in particular. They found out that all people experienced decline in their cognitive functions, but people with diabetes and people in prediabetic stage showed more rapid decrease in the processing speed and memory itself.
Can high level of blood sugar influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease?
The researchers in the University of Washington reported that high concentration of glucose in blood that is a symptom of diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
At first, the scientists studied the reaction of mice’s brains on the increase in the level of glucose. They stated that high concentration of glucose increased the development of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain of healthy mice by 20 per cent. In case when the mice had changes in the nervous tissue, this figure increased to 40 per cent.
According to the authors of the study, an increase in blood glucose level promotes the activation of brain neurons associated with the development of beta-amyloid plaques that cause the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists explained that the work of these neurons depends on the state of the KATP channels located on their surface. These KATP channels are responsible for the release of insulin by the pancreas in response to increase of glucose level. The researchers stated that the excitation of brain cells occurs when these channels are closed.
The scientists want to investigate this influence of blood sugar on the development of Alzheimer’s disease further. They are going to apply diabetes drugs for mice with symptoms close to Alzheimer’s disease to understand this connection better.
So, the level of glucose in our blood is an important thing and we should carefully monitor it to prevent any possibility of development of diabetes, because otherwise we are in danger of getting other brain related diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. The study shows that even the prediabetic stage can lead to decrease in our cognitive functions, and this is the reason why we should be aware of our level of glucose and take care of it.
Scientists find new link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s – Medicalxpress.com
What is diabetes? -Diabetesaustralia.com.au
HbA1c, diabetes and cognitive decline: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing – Link.springer.com