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Prediabetes might be a precursor to Alzheimer's Disease.

Prediabetes might be a precursor to Alzheimer's Disease.

According to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, high blood sugar that is often associated with prediabetes may increase the risk of a person developing Alzheimer's disease later on in life. The study concerns with how the resistance to insulin effects how the brain is able to successfully use glucose.

Researchers from the university found that resistance to insulin, higher than normal levels of blood sugar that are often an indicator of type 2 diabetes, was directly related to poorer performances on memory tests taken by adults who are in late middle age.

"The findings are interesting because people with diabetes are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, but we are only now learning why they may be at increased risk," said lead researcher Barbara Bendlin, an assistant professor of medicine at the university.

The results of the study suggest that insulin resistance could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease by altering the way that brain uses sugar, which is its primary source of fuel. However, according to Bendlin, by altering this insulin resistance in the middle of life, it could be possible to reduce the future chance of developing Alzheimer's.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and more than half of adults over the age of 64 have prediabetes. In order to prevent the risks associated with this diseases — as well as reducing the chance of getting Alzheimer's — people can improve their health through more exercise and adopting a better diet.

"Healthier lifestyles may contribute to healthier brain aging by reducing insulin resistance," Bendlin said in the report.

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