Central New York advocates for Alzheimer’s disease research say a new study showing a link with blood sugar offers more insight into brain function. Scientists are interested in learning whether an increase in blood sugar is a side effect of Alzheimer’s or rather if it’s a precursor to the disease.
Alzheimer’s Association CNY Chapter CEO Cathy James says it’s an exciting time in Alzheimer’s research.
"That study is looking at how lifestyle interventions can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults. Some of those interventions are things like physical exercise [or] a healthy diet. [It's also] looking at heart health, because we know that there's a very strong correlation between heart health and brain health."
Evidence suggests the more we focus on heart health, the more we are helping our brain health as well. James says exercise and a healthy diet play a huge role in lowering the risk factors of the disease.
"If there are changes in cognitive functioning or memory, [it's important] to have that conversation, both as a family as well as with our primary care provider."
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, James says medications and clinical trials help us better understand the disease. She says there is always a need for participants in clinical trials, both with and without cognitive impairment. If interested, visit alz.org for a free service to link you to trials.