Study: Sugar May Harm Brain Health

Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments

Emilie Reas| Scientificamerican

sugar brainA poor diet can eat away at brain health. Now a study in Neurology helps elucidate why. It suggests that eating a lot of sugar or other carbohydrates can be hazardous to both brain structure and function.

Diabetes, which is characterized by chronically high levels of blood glucose, has been linked to an elevated risk of dementia and a smaller hippocampus, a brain region critical for memory. The new study sought to identify whether glucose had an effect on memory even in people without the disease because having it could induce other brain changes that confound the data. In the experiment, researchers at the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin evaluated both short- and long-term glucose markers in 141 healthy, nondiabetic older adults. The participants performed a memory test and underwent imaging to assess the structure of their hippocampus.


Higher levels on both glucose measures were associated with worse memory, as well as a smaller hippocampus and compromised hippocampal structure. The researchers also found that the structural changes partially accounted for the statistical link between glucose and memory.

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