Thursday, February 7, 2013

Alzheimers Care Chapel Hill: Alzheimer's-Related Diabetes

By Todd Palmer

Alzheimers Care Chapel Hill:  At first, a connection between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes may seem improbable. One of these conditions concerns the brain and the other pertains, most basically, to the hormone insulin—how can they be related? While studies have yet to reveal the entirety of the connection between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, they have uncovered links between these two illnesses that are important to understand.

The studies that have thus far indicated a connection between these diseases assert that individuals who have diabetes, particularly the type 2 variety, are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease when they get older.[1] As a result, it could prove possible (although research has yet to confirm the theory) to reduce the odds that an individual develops Alzheimer's disease by engaging in preventative and maintenance activities related to diabetes.
The link between these diseases that has been, so far, uncovered lies in the damage that diabetes does to the blood vessels. When blood vessels in the brain are impaired by diabetes, they may lead to vascular dementia. A form of dementia like Alzheimer's, this particular condition leads to a decline in cognitive abilities. Because Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia share many symptoms, it is not yet understood how one can lead to the other; however, it has been asserted by some researchers that these two diseases may interact in a way that worsens them both simultaneously.

But the connection between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes may also be rooted in the fact that diabetes changes the way that the body processes glucose. Type 2 diabetes has the power to alter the body's ability to respond to insulin, as well, and this may cause the brain and other important organs to develop different conditions due to this abnormality.
Finally, the connection may also lie in the fact that diabetes can enhance the odds that an individual will develop mild cognitive impairment. This condition is seen as a bridge between normal aging processes and the damage done by dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

The relationship between Alzheimer's disease and dementia is yet to be clearly defined; however, understanding that this link exists can help individuals in engaging in preventative activities that may decrease their risk of developing dementia as they age.

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If you are interested in learning more about Alzheimer's, dementia and elder care in Chapel Hill, contact Todd Palmer and the professionals at Always Best Care of Chapel Hill and Durham at (919) 357-1440 visit their website.

[1] All information from                                         

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