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Diabetes a strong and consistent risk for dementia

The need to control and prevent diabetes holds a strong presence in the annual, World Alzheimer Report, released today by Alzheimer’s Disease International.
In its summary, the report notes that a good mantra for Alzheimer’s disease is: “What is good for your heart is good for your brain”. Early diagnosis and effective treatment of diabetes are listed amongst the highlights of the report.
The heart of the report is comprised of research studies which examine the effects of the different risk factors that are linked with risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Of the risk factors picked out, type 2 diabetes was noted as one of the strongest factors: “Evidence reviewed in this section confirms a particularly strong and consistent association between diabetes in late-life and the subsequent onset of dementia.”
Whereas other major risk factors, such as obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol levels, were noted as strong risk factors if these markers appeared in mid-life, type 2 diabetes showed strong increased risks for dementia in old-age as well as a possibly even higher effect if it appears in mid-life.
The report lists lifestyle changes such as cutting down on alcohol intake, stopping smoking, taking regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet as being key to prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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