New Evidence

If you haven’t visited the Science section of my website recently, you may not have noticed that I recently added a link to Neurology, one of the most authoritative, and widely read, journals on the subject of neurology. The selection of studies that I’ve linked to document the relationship between glucose and dementia, and provide further support for the claims I have made in Grain Brain. I encourage you to browse through this area to see the great research that is being done in this field. Allow me to point out a few studies in particular that I find worthy of note:

  • The Hisayama Study: Published in 2011, The Hisayama study sought to understand the relationship between diabetes and dementia. This longitudinal study, conducted over fifteen years, followed a group of, initially, dementia-free patients to determine how prevalent dementia would be in communities with diabetes versus in those without. The study found that the presence of diabetes was a significant risk factor for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s and, probably, vascular dementia.
  • Longitudinal Association of Vascular and Alzheimer’s Dementias, Diabetes, and Glucose Tolerance: Another longitudinal study of the relationship between impaired glucose tolerance and dementia.This study from 1999 is another great example of what we are illuminating in Grain Brain.  The science has been in the public domain for years. While an early study that does not find 100% correlation between glucose (in)tolerance and dementia, this study does highlight and substantiate early hypotheses that there was, in fact, a correlation present between some types of dementia and diabetes. In particular, this study found a relationship between the presence of diabetes and stroke-related dementia.  Studies like this created the foundation for something like the Hisayama Study to build off of.
  • Higher Glucose Levels Associated with Lower Memory and Reduced Hippocampal Microstructure: If you think that just because you don’t have diabetes you aren’t at a greater risk of developing dementia, think again. This very recent study sought to understand the overall impact of glucose on cognition. In studying a community of senior citizens, this study found that even in the absence of diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, chronically high blood glucose levels would negatively impact cognition and memory. They hypothesized this may be because of structural changes forced upon certain relevant areas of the brain, an area for further research.

Take a look at the rest of the studies here. Which do you find most revealing from this collection?

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  • ri

    thanks for keeping us up to date and informed!

    • David Perlmutter

      Always try to do my best to get the latest and greatest information out there.

      • ri

        you do a fantastic job!!

  • Diane

    Dr Perlmutter, is there a way of checking glucose levels? Diabetics monitor their sugar levels with frequent blood tests. Is this something that you would recommend for anyone concerned with maintaining healthy glucose levels? Thanks.

    • Jan in KW

      Diane, one can buy an inexpensive glucose/ketone monitoring device at your local drugstore.

      • Diane

        Okay, I’ll check it out. Thanks.

  • John

    Are there any good studies involving the french? They seem to have a very good diet and are known for their breads. I wonder if the french baguette is somehow less harmful?

  • HC

    Can you explain why people on low carb diets have fasting blood sugars that show elevation above 100 after years on a low carb diet even as their H1c stays low. I have read about this and it seems to be a phenomena after being low carb for years.