February 23, 2018 – Sugar and Dementia


Anchor lead: Is a lot of sugar in your blood a risk factor for dementia? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Chronic high blood sugar, such as is seen in poorly controlled diabetes and even in those with prediabetes, may put someone at risk for an accelerated rate of cognitive decline, a recent study concludes. Rebecca Gottesman, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins who has done research in this area, describes what’s known.

Gottesman: Level of glycemic control was associated with rate of cognitive decline. In this particular study as well as other studies they showed that the worse your sugar control was, so both if you were prediabetic or diabetic and then amongst those people how bad your control of your glucose was, there was more decline in those patients. This is even after adjusting for other kinds of risk factors that are found in those patients. And this is important because it tells us a little bit about possibly preventable or controllable risk factors for cognitive decline, dementia, and maybe even Alzheimer’s disease.   :31

Gottesman says knowing your blood sugar level is the first step and should be a part of routine health screening for everyone. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.