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People who suffer from pre-diabetes and who develop type 2 diabetes before the age of 60 are three times more likely to suffer from a form of dementia than healthy people, according to a new American study.

Do you know what the prediabetes ? Small booster shot. Diabetes is an abnormal rise in blood sugar levels – this is called hyperglycemia. The culprit is the pancreas: this organ indeed produces a hormone, insulin, which is essential for metabolizing sugar so that it can be used as a source of energy by the body. If the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (or if a phenomenon of insulin resistance sets in, which corresponds to a loss of insulin efficiency), sugar accumulates in the body, becoming toxic for organs.

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Prediabetes therefore refers to an intermediate stage, when the blood sugar level is no longer quite normal, but not yet high enough for you to be frankly diagnosed with diabetes – i.e. a fasting blood sugar level between 1.10 and 1, 25g/l.

Prediabetes is a risk factor for dementia

According to specialists, 70% of people with prediabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. However, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia, pre-diabetics who become type 2 diabetics before the age of 60 are three times more likely to develop a form of dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease ) than healthy people.

This risk of dementia increases by 73% for those who develop T2D between the ages of 60 to 69 and it only increases by 23% when you develop T2D between the ages of 70 to 79.

Although researchers have not determined exactly how diabetes induces dementia, they believe that the insulin resistance and high blood sugar associated with diabetes may cause a buildup of beta-amyloid and tau in the brain. “Buildup of amyloid beta-amyloid and tau can lead to loss of brain cells, which can then lead to dementia,” explained Prof. Michael Fang, co-author of the study.

Source : Prediabetes, intervening diabetes and subsequent risk of dementia: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, Diabetology, May 2023

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