Early Detection of Alzheimer's: Monitor Blood Sugar
Chronically high blood sugar levels increase the risk of developing either mild cognitive impairment or dementia, not only due to diabetic complications but also because the enzyme that degrades insulin (which is stimulated by high blood sugar) might play a role in the development of cognitive impairment. In addition, one large study identified more than 1,500 potential biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients who had Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, or dementia with Lewy bodies. Researchers believe they are close to using these biomarkers for clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but at this time, the only way to confirm the diagnosis of AD is by autopsy. Alzheimer’s can also be caused by accumulation of toxic proteins known as beta-amyloid fragments. These aggregates are cleared efficiently by young people, but the process is slowed in people by the seventh decade of life, or earlier in people with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.