Metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are related disorders that damage (among other things) the brain. Both conditions contribute to impaired cognitive function, and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by belly fat, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, increased risk of blood clots and inflammation. Metabolic syndrome, if uncorrected, eventually damages the pancreas leading to a decrease of insulin secretion. “The fall in insulin secretion leading to hyperglicemia occurs as a late phenomenon and, in fact, separates the patients with metabolic syndrome from those with or without overt diabetes.”(R)
Persons with metabolic disorders are at significantly increased risk for cognitive decline and the development of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Those with T2D are at even greater risk.
Into The Weeds
Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the Beta cells in the pancreas which also serve as glucose level monitors. As the beta cells in the pancreas detect increasing levels of glucose (a simple sugar) they step up insulin production.
When someone is insulin resistance, their cells are unable to take up glucose, and the result is hyperglycemia (an increase in circulating glucose).