A recently conducted Australian study has shown that damage to the brain can be the result of having a blood sugar level that is even on the high end of normal.
The Australian National University study found that people who were not yet diabetic or pre-diabetic but who had blood sugar levels in the normal/high range were more likely to suffer brain shrinkage in the amygdale and hippocampus. The effects mimic those that can occur with aging or dementia.
These findings suggest that even for people who do not have diabetes, blood sugar levels could have an impact on brain health,” said Nicolas Cherbuin, Ph.D., and researcher in a statement issued to the media.
The study, published in Neurology was conducted on 249 participants between the ages of 60 and 64. All possible factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, age and high blood pressure were considered. The participants, at the beginning of the study, were subjected to brain scans and again underwent the brain scan procedure four years later. The researchers found that a high yet still normal blood sugar level caused a 6 to 10 percent loss of brain volume.
“If replicated, this finding may contribute to a re-evaluation of the concept of normal blood glucose levels and the definition of diabetes,” wrote the researchers.
The study seems to confirm findings that were published in an early New York University School of Medicine report which showed a link between metabolic syndrome and a decrease in brain functionality.