SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A recent Alzheimer's Association study shows having high cholesterol and blood sugar in your 30s could increase the risk for Alzheimer's Disease decades down the line.
Doctors are using this information to encourage patients to prioritize their health earlier in life.
ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Tom Hopkins explained that over time researchers have found a link between inflammation in the brain and the disease. Chronic issues like high blood pressure and sugars cause inflammation. The earlier people have them, the longer that inflammation grows, interfering with the blood flow to your brain.
"You need to know your numbers, even at a younger age," Hopkins said. "If your blood sugars are running high, and while fasting, let's just say they're consistently above 140, then that inflammation is carried forward and inflames the blood vessels in the brain. When you interfere with the blood pressure in the brain, you're increasing your risk for stroke, and we know that there's a correlation between risk for stroke and Alzheimer's."
Hopkins said high blood sugar could cause increased protein deposits in the brain which also interfere with normal brain activity.
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