Insulin resistance accelerates the decline of mental acuity, according to researchers at Tel Aviv University. According to a study conducted at the Tel Aviv University School of Medicine. People with insulin resistance, caused in part by obesity and lack of physical activity, experience an accelerated decline in cognitive abilities such as execution and memory functions, whether they have diabetes or not. According to the researchers, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can delay cognitive decline in at-risk older adults. The study results were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar levels. In the case of resistance, the body needs an increasing amount of this hormone to enable cells to absorb glucose. If insulin is insufficient, too much glucose spills into the bloodstream, leading to the development of pre-diabetes, then overt diabetes, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
A few simple tricks to protect the brain
But, according to researchers at Tel Aviv University, executive and memory functions are also particularly vulnerable to the effects of insulin resistance.
“We found that people with insulin resistance, with or without diabetes, are at increased risk of accelerated cognitive decline after two decades,” says Professor Tanne, the study leader. “These are very important findings as they can help identify groups of individuals at increased risk for cognitive aging and dementia in later life.
“We know that insulin resistance can be prevented and treated through lifestyle changes because in addition to genetic predispositions, it is caused by obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise. So physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet and weight control can help prevent this resistance and protect the brain in later life”.
Increased risk of cognitive decline
To carry out this study, the researchers followed a group of 500 patients with heart disease for more than twenty years, and assessed their insulin resistance using the HOMA index (Homeostasis Model Assessment) which measures insulin levels. and fasting blood glucose.
The level of the patients’ cognitive functions (executive functions, visuospatial processing and attention abilities) was assessed by a series of computerized tests 15 years after the start of the study, then 5 years later. The researchers found that subjects placed in the highest quarter of the HOMA index had an increased risk of accelerated cognitive decline.
These results encourage further study of the impact of physical activity and diet on dementia in the elderly. If you want to avoid insulin resistance and better protect your brain from aging, exercise, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and watch your weight.
If you already have pre-diabetes, that is, higher than normal blood glucose levels but are not yet considered diabetic, these tips are particularly relevant to you.
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