Navigation Links
Rising Blood Sugar May Harm the Aging Brain
Date:12/30/2008

And exercise might help offset the effect, study suggests

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have unmasked what appears to be a major mechanism contributing to normal, age-related cognitive decline.

Happily, it's a mechanism that is amenable to change: rising blood glucose levels, which means that exercise might be the antidote.

Researchers reporting in the December issue of Annals of Neurology showed that rising blood sugar levels, a normal part of aging, affect a part of the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical to learning and memory.

"This would suggest that anything to improve regulation of blood glucose would potentially be a way to ameliorate age-related memory decline," said senior study author Dr. Scott Small, an associate professor of neurology at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

The findings may also help explain why people who exercise don't have as many cognitive problems as they age: Exercise helps stabilize blood glucose levels.

"We had previously shown that physical exercise strengthens a part of the brain involved with aging but, at the time, we didn't know why physical exercise would have this selective benefit," Small said. "Now we have a proposed mechanism. We think it's because subjects who exercised had better glucose handling."

It's well known that damage to the hippocampus is evident with Alzheimer's disease, and there has been some suggestion that this region of the brain is also affected by normal aging.

The researchers used MRI to record the functioning of the hippocampus in 240 healthy older people (average age almost 80). Sixty of the participants had type 2 diabetes, while 74 had brain "infarcts" -- some damage to brain tissue. Diabetes and infarcts were each linked with separate areas of the hippocampus, indicating that different mechanisms are at work in each disorder.

The findings were confirmed in animal tests.

"The paper identifies an etiology [cause] for normal age-related memory decline," Small explained. "Elevations in blood glucose levels differentially target the dentate gyrus part of the hippocampus implicated in aging and, as we age, we develop a slight but gradually worsening difficulty in handling blood sugar levels."

That difficulty coincides with the beginning of loss of cognitive function, Small added.

"In my opinion, that's an interesting hypothesis and needs to be studied -- that exercise helps improve cognitive functioning through that mechanism, but I think there are other mechanisms as well," said Bryan Freilich, a clinical neuropsychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Mark Mapstone, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said: "If these findings are replicated and confirmed, I think the implications could be very important, specifically, that maintaining optimal blood sugar levels throughout aging is a feasible way to [slow or prevent] cognitive decline. It goes beyond diabetes to look at people who don't have diabetes. The implication is even if you don't have a clinical condition of diabetes, that you can still do something about cognitive aging."

More information

For more on healthy aging, visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging.



SOURCES: Scott Small, M.D., associate professor, neurology, Sergievsky Center and Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Bryan Freilich, Psy.D., clinical neuropsychologist, Montefiore Medical Center, and assistant professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Mark Mapstone, Ph.D., associate professor, neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; December 2008 Annals of Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New HIV diagnoses rising in New York City among young men who have sex with men
2. Office-Based Medical Treatment and Internet Resources Are Potential Solution to Rising Painkiller Misuse Among Teens, Young Adults
3. Disabilities Rising Among Workers; Need for Employer-Driven Disability Awareness, Support Efforts Also Increases
4. Spectrum of Eating Disorders - from Anorexia to Obesity - are Cause for Rising Concern among K-12 Students and Educators
5. Obesity Driving Rising U.S. Health Costs
6. Survey of Iowa Voters Reveals Surprising Results and Attitudes Toward Americas Health Care Crisis
7. Asymptomatic peripheral artery disease prevalence is rising
8. Independent Review Organizations Poised to Help Reduce Rising Healthcare Cost
9. Rising Medical Solutions, Inc. Ranks Fifth on the Private Company Index (PCI) Top Growth Companies List
10. Surprising New Research Indicates that Significant Numbers of Children as Young as 11 are Engaging in Sexual Activity and that Dating Violence and Abuse are Part of Their Relationships
11. Successful Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Initiative Faces Rising Healthcare Costs in Year Two
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes ... of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple ... Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... RIDGE, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... annual Holly Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from ... of personalized and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global ... at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global ... physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, ... in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program ... investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the ... in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the ... She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2017   Divoti USA ... Alert Jewelry up to the standard of the latest FDA requirements, ... June 2017). Anyone in need of Medical ID jewelry ... Medical Alert Jewelry are engraved in terms of the ... Divoti ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  True ... services, has amplified its effort during National Breast ... about hereditary cancer risks. ... of Clinical Oncology calculated that more than 10 ... have inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... --  Provista, a proven leader in the supply ... power, today announced a new resource area on Provistaco.com ... is the online home for case studies, articles on ... releases, slideshows and events. ... at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short videos ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: