Can chocolate & cakes steal your memory? High blood sugar increases risk of Alzheimer's, new study claims

Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Got a sweet tooth? Think twice before eating too much cake or chocolate. A new study shows that high levels of blood sugar may be the cause of the killer Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine wrote in a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that elevated blood sugar levels could lead to “harm effects on brain function and exacerbate neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.”

The researchers said that high levels of sugar glucose, a symptom of diabetes, can increase the levels of a toxic protein called amyloid beta. The latter is believed to be the trigger of complex brain changes that can lead to Alzheimer’s.

“Epidemiological studies show that patients with type-2-diabetes (T2DM) and individuals with a diabetes-independent elevation in blood glucose have an increased risk for developing dementia, specifically dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD),” the study says.

"This observation opens up a new avenue of exploration for how Alzheimer’s disease develops in the brain as well as offers a new therapeutic target for the treatment of this devastating neurologic disorder," said lead author of the study Shannon Macauley.

READ MORE: Cup of cocoa a day keeps memory loss away – scientists

In the recent study researchers conducted tests on mice. They induced glucose into the animal’s blood so they would develop the amyloid beta protein. According to a 2013 study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, amyloid beta begins destroying synapses before it even clumps into harmful “plaques.”

Synapses are contact points that permit a neuron or nerve cell to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell. They take part is such process as storing memories, processing thoughts and ordering how we move our bodies.

“There is a large body of evidence linking diabetes to an increased risk of dementia but the biological mechanisms underlying this link are not yet fully understood. Further investment in research is crucial,” Macauley said.