New research suggests there may be a link between sugar and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Higher intake of sugar and sugar-rich diets can cause Alzheimer’s disease, which manifests with memory loss and the decline of cognitive powers.
This has been revealed in a new study by researchers from the University of Bath that said eating sugar-rich diets will bring the risk of contracting the neurologically degenerative disease.
Glucose and glucose metabolites are able to adversely modify proteins through a non-enzymatic reaction called glycation, which is associated with the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and is a characteristic of the hyperglycaemia induced by diabetes.
“Normally macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) would be part of the immune response to the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain and we think that because sugar damage reduces some MIF functions and completely inhibits others that this could be a tipping point that allows Alzheimer’s to develop,” said Professor Jean van den Elsen, who is attached to the biology and biochemistry department of the University of Bath.
The work is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Since few people know about Alzheimer’s, there is a general assumption that the disease and dementia are the same thing.
However, although related, they are different. Dementia is not a disease per se but encompasses a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory and other thinking abilities severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in the world today, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. And contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of ageing.
Shrinkage of the white brain matter is a sign that one could be suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learnt information, such as the name of a place or an individual. This is because changes in the brain begin in the parts that affect learning.
Even though there are no conclusively established causes of Alzheimer’s, eating healthy and exercising can help maintain normal brain function. The effects of the disease can only be slowed down, but there is no known cure.
There might not be a medical cure for Alzheimer’s, but love is the emotional cure that the patients need the most.