New study suggests too much sugar could cause Alzheimer's

New research suggests there may be a link between prolonged sleep and the risk of dementia. By 2025 the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million.

"Excess sugar is well known to be bad for us when it comes to diabetes and obesity, but this potential link with Alzheimer's disease is yet another reason that we should be controlling sugar intake in our diets", said Omar Kassaar, from the University of Bath in Britain.

This of course is not the first time the connection between heart disease and dementia has been illustrated-previous studies have found that individual risk factors like cholesterol and belly fat are also associated with an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

The team found that a particular enzyme was glycated in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease and that glycation stopped the enzyme from working properly.

People who regularly get nine hours sleep (or more) each night have an increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study.

For the study, Gottesman and her colleagues collected data on more than 15,700 men and women who took part in a study that started in 1987 in four communities around the United States.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are exclusively those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.

Diabetes It has been confirmed there is a link between high blood sugar and dementia
GETTYDiabetes It has been confirmed there is a link between high blood sugar and dementia

Diabetes in middle age, however, was linked with the highest risk for dementia - 77 percent, compared with people without diabetes, Gottesman said.

Additionally, as the study's lead author explains, education seems to be playing a role in staving off the risk of dementia. "These results suggest that being highly educated may protect against dementia in the presence of long sleep duration".

Researchers said excessive sleep may be an early warning sign, rather than a cause, of the brain changes that occur with dementia. As a effect, they speculate, reducing sleep duration is not likely to lower the risk of dementia.

"Self-reported sleep duration may be a useful clinical tool to help predict persons at risk of progressing to clinical dementia within 10 years", said co-author Matthew Pase, fellow in the department of neurology at BUSM. But a new study, presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2017, finds that one the greatest predictors of dementia down the road is whether one has risk factors for heart disease in the present.

The authors believe the findings may inform future dementia and cognitive impairment detection practices.

The sooner a patient is diagnosed with dementia, the more time they and their families have to plan ahead and make crucial healthcare decisions.

  • Joanne Flowers