A study has suggested that people with blood sugar on the 'high end of the normal range' may be at a higher risk of brain shrinkage that occurs with ageing and dementia.
Dr Nicolas Cherbuin from the Australian National University College of Medicine, Biology and Environment studied 249 people who had blood sugar in the normal range, aged 60 to 64. At the beginning of the study they had brain scans, and again, on average, four years later.
"Numerous studies have shown a link between type 2 diabetes and brain shrinkage and dementia, but we haven’t known much about whether people without diabetes with blood sugar on the high end of normal experience these same effects," said Dr Cherbuin.
The researchers found that blood sugar on the higher end of normal – after controlling for age, high blood pressure, alcohol use and other factors – accounted for six to 10 per cent of the brain shrinkage.
Dr Cherbuin said that the findings suggest that even for people who don't have diabetes, higher blood sugar levels could impact brain health.
"More research is needed, but these findings may lead us to re-evaluate the concept of normal blood sugar levels and the definition of diabetes," he said.
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