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Blood Sugar and the Brain

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People with higher blood sugar levels may be more likely to have memory problems. That's according to a new study of older adults who did not have diabetes. German researchers found those with high blood sugar levels had lower scores on memory tests.

"People that had elevated blood sugars had worse memory, had worse retention of words that they gave them over a 30 minute period," says Dr. Dara Jane Saltzman.

People in the study with higher blood sugar levels also had less volume in the area of the brain that's important for memory.

Some studies show type 2 diabetes may increase the risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease. Researchers say the findings suggest lowering blood sugar could be a way to prevent memory problems, even in people with normal blood sugar.

Dr. Dana Jane Saltzman says a healthy lifestyle is key for keeping blood sugar levels down.

"Exercise is absolutely fundamental in conjunction with that to eat a good diet."

Nicole Carrington's blood sugar levels are normal, but with a family history of diabetes she's taking her doctor's advice.

"I've actually been running outside, doing 5ks and 10ks as well as doing the treadmill in the gym 3-4 times a week."

She's tackling a healthier diet next.

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