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Studies link heart, diabetes risks with dementia

Studies link heart, diabetes risks with dementia

Taking steps to stave off diabetes and heart disease may improve a person's chances of staying mentally sharp later in life, several research teams said on Monday.
In one study, U.S. researchers found the same cluster of metabolic disorders that raise a woman's risk for heart disease and diabetes also increase her chances of memory declines later in life.
A second study found that a history of diabetes and high cholesterol hasten the rate of mental declines in people with Alzheimer's disease.
"Preventing heart disease, stroke and diabetes - or making sure these conditions are well managed in patients diagnosed with them - can potentially slow the disease progression of Alzheimer's," said Yaakov Stern of Columbia University Medical Center, whose study was one of several on metabolic diseases and dementia published in the Archives of Neurology.
The findings build on recent studies that suggest people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins have a lower risk of developing all forms of dementia. And diabetics who take pills that help their bodies use insulin better have a lower risk of Alzheimer's.
Now many teams are trying to get a better understanding of how these disorders affect Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
"These findings suggest that perhaps dealing with some of these metabolic vascular issues early in life might help," Stern said in a telephone interview. "Even if people have Alzheimer's disease, this is one thing people might want to try to slow its progression," he said.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia among older people, affecting 26 million globally, according to the Alzheimer's Association. There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and current drugs merely delay symptoms.


Updated : 2021-08-04 01:48 GMT+08:00