High carb consumption linked to dementia

This article summarizing recent research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease says seniors who limit carb consumption have a lower risk of developing dementia.

Quoting the article "A Mayo Clinic study says that elderly people have a lower risk of cognitive impairment if they consume a diet high in fat and protein as opposed to a diet with lots of carbs and sugar. Glucose levels might play a role in the development of beta amyloid plaques, proteins toxic to brain health found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's."

Also from the article "Those whose diets were highest in fat (nuts, healthy oils) were 42% less likely to get cognitive impairment, while those who had the highest intake of protein (chicken, meat, fish) had a reduced risk of 21%."

There has been speculation that insulin resistance, which is a hallmark of T2, can also have an effect on the brains metabolism, perhaps influencing the development of dementia.

Should this study influence recommendations for diet in T2's? Will this cause you to rethink your own carb consumption?

This is interesting. I've also heard Alzheimers called type 3 diabetes. It may also be that elevated glucose levels "feed" whatever disease process is the cause, just like with cancers.

Need some specifics:

What level of carbs were ingested?

As Brian says, what is the causative affect, carb intake or blood glucose?

What, if any, are mitigating factors.

Sounds interesting though and I'd like to see a link to the actual research study rather than just a report from a website.

I think it is important to note that the seniors have been tracked / observed. People with smart food choices had a lower risk to develop Alzheimer. But perhaps their food choice was so smart because they did not have dementia? Statistical correlation does not establish causality.

Despite of this criticism I think this should be investigated in detail. I am not sure but I think the brain has its own local insulin production. Perhaps I am wrong but if so this production might degrade / suffer under high carb intake?

This is a very preliminary study and a specific mechanism for the results is not part of the conclusions. The main conclusion is that further study is warranted.

Re berries: Quoting the researcher "Roberts says high glucose levels might affect the brain's blood vessels and play a role in the development of beta amyloid plaques, proteins toxic to brain health that are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's." I see no mention of brain insulin resistance which others have posited as a mechanism for the development of Alzheimer's.

In my experience berries ingested in small quantities have almost no effect on my blood sugar, so I would think they're not a problem. Using this reasoning carbs that don't cause a spike, like veggies, may be benign. While carbs that do cause a spike would be the ones causing the problem.

Here's a thread that discussed the insulin resistance angle.

Alzheimer's already goes back two generations in my family and maybe further. I would call myself high risk for this. Changing my eating habits now would probably help me live longer where I could suffer more. After seeing what my Dad went through his last few years I hope I die before then. I keep getting told by my Endo that low BG's kill off brain cells; so the way I see it I am just screwed.

Good luck to those of you that have a fighting chance.

I tried to find a link to the actual study but found none. The analysis was to compare cognitive function for those on the high and low end of of consumption for the various macro nutrients, so there are not threshold levels etc. The source of the carbs was not evaluated either. This type of study cannot determine cause and effect. It does however suggest further research to answer these questions is warranted.

So then I would answer your two questions this way:

No, preliminary studies should not influence health policy.

Personally, no, but people should be free to make their health choices based on whatever information they feel is relavent to their own situation.

I had an endocrinologist I was working with during the initial phase of my book tell me that there's a preliminary trend to categorizing some forms of Alzheimer's as "type 3" diabetes — that is, a dysregulation of glucose uptake by the brain. I haven't really explored that much because it hasn't really been relevant to the work I'm doing, but it stuck with me.

You mustn't give up, we don't know what is in the future.

Yep, the high carbing guitarist forgot his notes and the rest of the low carbing band pulled him through.

I haven't given up. Just overly concerned; because I am already experiencing some memory loss. Aready seeing signs of my Dad in me. Mainly the point I was making is that I don't want to die from alzheimer or diabetes complications.

Sadly, one of our Type 2 Friends was recently dxd. with Dementia. :(
He's only 55 for heavens sakes. We saw it creeping up on him. He
lives by himself, so I guess we know what that means.

I know several type 2's with Dementia/Alzheimer , who are not living at home anymore :( ...saw today on TV : exercise may prevent onset ...I don't have a link , however I will support the idea

located this : http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251880.php

and this http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/exercise-may-protect-against-brain-shrinkage/
Off for my eve walk next

There's a cool book about "The Nun Study" called "Aging with Grace" that talks about a community of nuns who made their paperwork and their brains available to science. The book presents a lot of case studies but does seem to conclude that there were ongoing patterns that were discernable pretty early and also that having activities, like going for walks, etc. seemed to allow some sisters whose brains later showed symptoms of "damaged goods" (plaques...) to live less dementia-filled lives than other sisters with plaques who didn't have some type of activity pulling them on.


There might be hope for me yet since I do exercise. Time will tell.

I have to comment here since I am a certified senior!
I can tell my memory is worse when I haven't been on the treadmill. If I start counting backward from 100 by 7s and I don't have it finished in 8 seconds, I am definitely losing it.
If, however, I have been on the treadmill, I can finish in 6 seconds. Ah, memory! Tell the researchers they didn't control adequately for make-a-difference-exercise!