In the past year or so it was discovered that there might be a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Apparently Alzheimer’s is affected by insulin and there is a significant correlation between high blood sugar levels and Alzheimer’s. Just one more thing you need to know if you are pre-diabetic, right? But all knowledge is a good thing, and it is good to know that ANY attempt you make to lower your blood sugar can help protect your brain as well. A good diet and exercise may ultimately help prevent cognitive delays, including Alzheimer’s.
In fact, the correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer’s is so high, that doctors are now referring to Alzheimer’s as a Type 3 diabetes. In an article published in November 2008 by the National Institute of Health, authors Suzanne M. de la Monte, M.D., M.P.H. and Jack R. Wands, M.D. conclude that "Altogether, the results from these studies provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that AD represents a form of diabetes mellitus that selectively afflicts the brain." (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/)
Another article, by Edward R. Rosick, DO, MPH, DABHM, published in the November 2006 issue of Life Extension Magazine states that "The emerging connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's is yet another compelling reason for those who value their health to address issues of impaired insulin sensitivity before it is too late. Although diabetes is an emerging epidemic, it is also wholly preventable and reversible through strategies that incorporate dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and nutritional supplementation." (http://www.lef.org/magazine/2006/12/report_alzheimer/page-01)
Alzheimer’s is a topic very close to my heart as my Grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years. In the later stages of the disease, it became very difficult to care for her. She didn't recognize the friends and family who were taking care of her and was terrified of what they were doing to her and why they were there. She forgot how to execute basic functions like eating, going to the bathroom and other self-care skills. Sometimes she would get frustrated, violent or forceful in her attempt to understand what was going on around her.
Research has already determined that there may be a link between blood sugars and Alzheimer’s and currently there is a cutting edge study researching treatment for Alzheimer’s patients (http://alzheimersstudy.com/). The website states that "Currently three studies are underway to investigate whether a research drug called idalopirdine, given in addition to the Alzheimer’s medicine, donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine, improves brain functioning in areas such as memory, thinking and reasoning." If you have someone currently taking Alzheimer’s medication, please forward information on this important research and treatment to his or her caretakers. There is even an online prescreener available to see if you might qualify. (https://alzheimersstudy.com/screener/ )
If you have trouble with high blood sugar, you now know how important this study might be to you. Please forward this post to anyone you know with friends or loved ones that suffer from Alzheimer’s. This may provide benefits to help the patient and patient costs are covered (even if you don't have insurance). Participation in the study will help progress this research through FDA approval and ultimately allow for the findings to be released for the benefit of the general public in managing this disastrous disease.