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High Blood Sugar Linked With Memory Problems

High blood sugar is most commonly associated with diabetes, but it may also contribute to memory problems, according to a recent study conducted in Germany.

Participants in the study included 141 people with an average age of 63 who did not have diabetes or pre-diabetes, were not overweight, did not drink more than three and half servings of alcohol daily, and did not already have memory or thinking impairment.

The researchers tested the memory skills and blood sugar levels of all the participants. They also administered brain scans to measure the size of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that is very important for memory.

One test required the participants to recall 15 words 30 minutes after hearing them. Participants with higher blood sugar remembered fewer words than those with lower blood sugar. An increase in seven mmol/mol of HbA1c (a long-term marker of glucose control) was associated with remembering two fewer words.

The researchers also noted that the individuals with higher blood sugar had smaller volumes in the hippocampus when compared with those with lower blood sugar. Previous studies have linked smaller volumes in the hippocampus with reduced memory ability.

Researchers from Charite University Medicine in Berlin, Germany, conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 23, 2013, in the journal Neurology.

High blood sugar levels left untreated will cause short-term and long-term effects. Short term effects include tiredness, weakness, thirst and blurry vision. Long-term effects relate to diabetes and include kidney failure, nephropathy, heart disease and eye disease.

Previous studies have linked a number of natural treatments with lower blood sugar levels. They include consuming mulberry leaf extract, apple cider vinegar

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