Could Higher Brain Glucose Levels Be a Cause for Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease Today
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – a time for enhanced support and examination of one of today’s most mysterious cognitive diseases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans live with the disease, and by 2050, this number could rise to as high as 16 million.
Alzheimer’s disease is America’s sixth leading cause of death and manifests itself within someone in the U.S. every 66 seconds. What’s more, Alzheimer’s Disease takes more lives annually than Breast Cancer and Prostate cancer combined.
Sugar, Your Brain, and You
Despite these alarming statistics, there is still much to be known about Alzheimer’s disease. Determining what causes Alzheimer’s and how to prevent or cure it have been priorities of many of the world’s top medical and scientific minds for years.
One recent study, however, has indicated a possible link between Alzheimer’s and levels of glucose — a form of sugar — in people’s brains. The National Institutes of Health’s Institute on Aging (NIA) has found a connection between abnormalities in how the brain breaks down glucose and the onset of eventual outward symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Glucose metabolism provides the fuel for physiological brain function. The brain uses roughly half of all sugar energy in the human body.
“These findings point to a novel mechanism that could be targeted in the development of new treatments to help the brain overcome glycolysis defects in Alzheimer’s disease,” said neurologist Madhav Thambisetty of NIA’s Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, who led the study.
Learn more about the NIA’s findings by visiting the original AARP article here. To learn more about Parc Provence, the St. Louis region’s leaders in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care, or schedule a tour, contact us today at (314) 384-5233.