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Metabolic Syndrome and Memory Loss

  • A key point of emphasis, in the educational materials provided by the Orange County Vital Aging program, is that memory loss can result from myriad underlying medical conditions. While many falsely presume that all memory loss is due to Alzheimer's disease, there are many other common causes. Among those causes is Metabolic Syndrome.

    As per a recent article posted on WebMD, Metabolic syndrome is a common condition characterized by a cluster of symptoms that can include high blood pressure, too much weight around the waist, elevated blood sugar, low levels of HDL or "good cholesterol", and high levels of tryglycerides, a type of unhealthy fat found in the blood.

    According to a study published recently in Neurology, subjects with metabolic syndrome, are more prone to memory loss and other forms of cognitive decline in their later years. The study did not indicate increased risk of any particular disease or condition known to impair memory, but did note with clarity that metabolic syndrome was highly correlated with such later decline.

    While metabolic syndrome has been previously known to have higher risk for heart disease, it appears now as if it also confers an increased cognitive risk as well. Given a large body of evidence showing that active management of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and body fat can reduce the risk of heart disease, it is reasonable to speculate that such practices might also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

    Certainly, it couldn't hurt.