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| Hormones and Metabolism
Metabolic syndrome may decrease blood flow to the brain
Updated: 2012-07-19 14:16:55 CST Category: Hormones and Metabolism
People who undergo blood testing to find out whether they have metabolic syndrome are likely to be worried about their heart health. However, new research from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health suggests that metabolic syndrome may also be harmful to the brain.
This observation is based on data collected from 71 middle-aged individuals who participated in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention study. The evaluations that research participants underwent included a brain scan.
Results showed that individuals who had symptoms of metabolic syndrome – which include abdominal obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar and high cholesterol – had an average of 15 percent less blood flow to their brains. This may explain the condition's observed effects on memory function.
"We thought the cerebral blood flow measurements of the metabolic syndrome group would be lower, but it was striking how much lower it was," said study co-author Barbara Bendlin.
It is not clear yet whether this alteration in blood flow is connected to the future risk of Alzheimer's disease. Further research is needed to bear this out.
In the meantime, individuals who are worried about whether they have metabolic syndrome can undergo blood testing to measure factors such as lipids and blood sugar.
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