Blood Sugar and the Aging Brain
Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy
Alzheimer’s Disease is sometimes called the “Disease of the Baby Boomers.” So it is not surprising that current brain research is focusing on this disorder.
A recent study on blood sugar levels and brain deterioration by Dr. Cherbuin and associates looked at 266 healthy, non-diabetic individuals, ages 60-64. The results indicated that high normal-fasting blood sugar levels were associated with brain wasting, particularly in areas relevant to aging. In another study, abnormally high blood sugar levels were associated with shrinkage of parts of the teenage brain as well.
Low testosterone, as well as high cortisol levels and estrogen/progesterone imbalances, can also lead to blood sugar/insulin disturbances.
Although more research needs to be done, controlling blood sugar levels through a healthy diet and exercise may prove to be beneficial in maintaining healthy brain function throughout life.
- Cherbuin N, et al. Higher normal fasting plasma glucose is associated with hippocampal atrophy: The PATH Study. Neurology. 2012 Sep 4;79(10):1019-26. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826846de.
- Yau PL, et al. Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome and Functional and Structural Brain Impairments in Adolescence. Pediatrics. 2012 Oct; 130(4).