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Tipping Point Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s Disease Revealed

Update Date: Feb 28, 2017 09:50 AM EST

Researchers from the University of Bath and King's College in London discovered that high levels of glucose on the blood causes glycation damages an enzyme called macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF).

The enzyme MIF aids in insulin regulation and immune response. MIF is also involved in responding to the build up of abnormal protein together with glia cells in the brain.

According to Medical News Today, Alzheimer's disease is a condition that damages the brain leaving those who suffer from it incapable of remembering, thinking and performing normal daily tasks.

Alzheimer's disease is also the leading cause of dementia, a condition that affects 46 million people around the world and more than 5 million have Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Science Daily reported that globally, there are 50 million people with Alzheimer's disease and this number is predicted to go more than 125 million by 2050.

Research revealed earlier that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, symptoms vary from person to person and signs of the disease are not visible until the cognitive decline becomes apparent.

Experts say changes in the brain, specifically the growth and accumulation of abnormal proteins that forms plaques and causes tangles and damage in the brain cells.

Researchers suggests that the glycation damage on the MIF is 'tipping point' that allows the development of Alzheimer's. The team also found that with the progress of the disease, the glycation damage on the MIF increases.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust. Brains for Dementia Research provided human brain tissue sample used in the research.

Dr. Omar Kassaar of the University of Bath and first author of the study noted that we are already aware of the negative effects of excessive sugar in the body with the dangers of diabetes and obesity. With the discovery of the potential link of sugar to Alzheimer's disease, the researchers hope they provided another reason for people to control their sugar consumption.

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