Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease - another deadly pair

Growing old really presents a lot of issues and problems in life - and health. Who knows when we will stop counting?

Read on...

Mid-life diabetes raises Alzheimer risk in men: study

An old person suffering from Alzheimer's disease is seen at a hospital.
WASHINGTON - Men who develop diabetes in middle age are at significantly increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life, according to a long-term study published Wednesday.

The study involved 2,269 men in Sweden who underwent testing at age 50 for diabetes, a disease caused by abnormal insulin levels.

During a follow-up period averaging 32 years, 102 of the participants were diagnosed with Alzheimer's, 57 with vascular dementia, and 235 with other forms of dementia or cognitive impairment.

Alzheimer's from the Inside OutThe authors, writing in the medical journal Neurology, concluded that the men with low insulin levels at age 50 were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than people without insulin problems, and that the risk remained significant regardless of blood pressure, body mass index and education level.

The findings "have important public health implications given the increasing numbers of people developing diabetes and the need for more powerful interventions," said study author Elina Ronnemaa of Sweden's Uppsala University.

"It's possible that insulin problems damage blood vessels in the brain, which leads to memory problems and Alzheimer's disease, but more research is needed to identify the exact mechanisms."

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life, 4th EditionThe study also found that the link between diabetes and Alzheimer risk was strongest in people who did not have the APOE4 gene, which is known to increase risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Ronnemaa said such a link shows that insulin problems are a key risk factor for Alzheimer's when the APOE4 risk gene is missing.

Alzheimer's is a progressive and fatal brain disease striking the elderly. - AFP/ra

From; source article is below:Mid-life diabetes raises Alzheimer risk in men: study