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Metabolic Syndrome May Prompt Memory Loss

Posted Feb 23 2011 10:02pm
Posted on 2011-02-23 06:00:00 in Brain and Mental Performance | Metabolic Syndrome |

Metabolic Syndrome is a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism.   Christelle Raffaitin, from the French National Institute of Health Research (France), and colleagues studied 7,087 men and women, ages 65 and older, residing in three French cities. Each was tested for metabolic syndrome, with 16% of the total subjects diagnosed with the disorder. Participants were given a series of memory and cognitive function tests two and four years later.  The researchers found that the subjects who had metabolic syndrome were 20% more likely to have cognitive decline on the memory test, than those who did not have metabolic syndrome. Those with metabolic syndrome also were 13% more likely to have cognitive decline on the visual working memory test, as compared to those who did not have the syndrome. Specifically, higher triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol were linked to poorer memory scores; diabetes, but not higher fasting blood sugar, was linked to poorer visual working memory and word fluency scores. The team concludes that:  “[Metabolic Syndrome] as a whole and several of its components had a negative impact on global cognitive decline and specific cognitive functions in older persons. “

C. Raffaitin, C. Feart, M. Le Goff, H. Amieva, C. Helmer, T.N. Akbaraly, C. Tzourio, H. Gin, P. Barberger-Gateau.  “Metabolic syndrome and cognitive decline in French elders: The Three-City Study.”  Neurology, February 8, 2011 76:518-525.


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