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Fight Alzheimer’s in your mid-30s by tracking these warning signs

0 2 years ago

A type of cholesterol and blood sugar

People ages 35 to 50 who had high levels of triglyceride, a type of cholesterol found in blood, and lower levels of the “good cholesterol” called high-density lipoprotein were more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease later in life, the study found.

“In the early age group (35-50 years) only, an increase of 15 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) in triglycerides was associated with a 33% increase in Alzheimer’s disease risk,” Farrer said via email.

The association was not seen for older age groups, perhaps because older adults are treated for cholesterol more aggressively, he said.

“Alternatively, it could reflect that high triglycerides in early adulthood may trigger a cascade of metabolic events that over time initiate processes that directly lead to Alzheimer’s disease,” Farrer said.

In people ages 51 to 60, it was higher blood sugar levels that raised the risk for Alzheimer’s, according to the study.

“For every 15 points that your blood sugar goes up, your risk of Alzheimer’s goes up by 14.5% later in life,” said Farrer, who is also a professor of medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, epidemiology and biostatistics at Boston University.

“Having high cholesterol may not cause Alzheimer’s, but it presses the fast-forward button on the disease pathology and cognitive decline,” Isaacson said. “There’s also a relationship between diabetes and the development of amyloid pathology.”

Beta amyloid plaques in the brain are one of the hallmark signals of Alzheimer’s, along with tangles of a protein called tau.


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