A recent paper published online in the December 17, 2015 issue of Diabetes Care reported a type of dementia called Vascular Dementia, one that is more common in women than men with diabetes. Vascular Dementia affects the blood vessels to parts of the brain involved in memory, language and thinking. This type of dementia results from damage or blockages in blood vessels decreasing blood flow in the brain. The exact mechanism is not known but the following seem to play roles:
• Blood sugar levels,
• Levels of sex hormones,
• Aging blood vessels
The good news is that one can control the risks of Vascular Dementia. We know there are many lifestyle changes that can improve the health of our blood vessels and decrease risks for heart disease, stroke, and the vascular complications of diabetes. The study author, Dr. Huxley, remarked that healthy lifestyle changes can offset risks of Vascular Dementia. Another memory expert not involved in this study commented on the results and recommends more aggressive screening for women at risk for diabetes, pre-diabetes, and women who had diabetes during pregnancy.
HEAL screens for diabetes and pre-diabetes and is in a position through its HEALcare™ program, to reduce the risks of dementia and memory loss. HEAL’s most important therapeutic tool is a personalized low-carbohydrate diet to normalize blood sugar and insulin levels, improve lipids, and decrease inflammation, all of which are implicated in brain vascular damage. Carrying excess body weight can also increase these risk factors. It’s never too early to begin to safeguard not just one’s heart but one’s brain as well.