TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Elevated blood sugar levels tied to memory problems

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By Reuters

Published: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 5:33 p.m.

NEW YORK — Blood sugar considered safely below diabetes or pre-diabetes levels may be linked to a raised risk of memory problems, a study suggests.

German researchers found that people with elevated — but not unhealthy — blood sugar levels tended to perform worse on memory tests than those with lower levels. An area of the brain most responsible for memory differed between the two groups.

Previous studies had found links between blood sugar disorders — such as diabetes and a pre-diabetic condition known as impaired glucose intolerance — and poor brain function and dementia, lead author Dr. Agnes Flöel said.

“We were also interested if this extends to people who are still in the normal range,” Flöel, a neurologist at Charité University Medicine in Berlin, said.

Blood sugar levels are a measurement of the amount of glucose in a person's blood. The body regulates blood sugar levels by releasing insulin, which helps turn glucose into energy.

The bodies of people with diabetes have difficulty regulating blood sugar. In that case, those people usually take medicine to keep blood sugar levels within a safe range.

A person's fasting blood sugar level, which is taken after about 10 to 12 hours without food, should fall between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter.

For the study, Flöel and her colleagues recruited 141 people from Berlin.

The participants were between 50 and 80 years old. None of them had diabetes or memory problems. The researchers excluded heavy drinkers and obese people.

Each participant had blood taken after at least 10 hours without food and had an MRI image taken of their brain.

All of them took a memory test, in which they were told 15 unrelated words that they had to remember and repeat after various periods of time.

Overall, people with higher blood sugar readings performed worse on the memory test, compared with those with lower blood sugar levels.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
  2. Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
  3. Hoax bomb case causes concerns  in Boston
  4. Federal judge strikes down North Dakota abortion ban
  5. ‘Godfather’ of runaway salaries for elected officials sentenced in California
  6. Tea Party flap averted fraud probe by IRS, Justice, emails show
  7. Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
  8. Bloomberg to spend$50M on gun-control initiative
  9. Vermont Senate OKs GMO labels as industry insists genetically modified crops are safe
  10. Study says regular pot use affects the brain
  11. New York Police Department commissioner disarms post-9/11 intel program
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.