Okay, this one hits home. I was recently told I have Metabolic Syndrome…..Yikes…..I have had a cloudy head for months if not a year or more and maybe this is the answer. As a memory guy or memory speaker this is probably the worst condition to have and for the non memory guy not good either.  Read on….

You heard all through school that “A healthy body produces a healthy mind.” That is because what happens to your body has a direct bearing on what’s going on inside your brain.  When the body starts to break down, whether it’s from a disease or aging, the brain also begins to break down. Keeping your mind strong requires proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and exercises for your body and your mind – like memory games and learning memory techniques that can stimulate the brain.

Metabolic Disorders like diabetes happen because your body is not able to break down and absorb the food you eat correctly. Since what you eat affects how your body works, and it the way in which your body and brain gets its nutrients, a disruption in the way your body breaks down the fuel has a real bearing on how it affects your memory.

Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors that, when put together, increase your risk of diabetes, stroke and coronary artery disease. The two most important factors they have found so far are a higher concentration of fat your middle, and resistance to the insulin produced naturally in your body to regulate your blood sugar. Too much sugar in your body, or too little, has an effect on all the functions in your body, including your kidneys and your brain. (WOW! Now this all makes sense why I have had a cloudy head. The Dr. told me I had to give up my sweet tea! I LOVE SWEET TEA!!!!!! But I also love my brain.)

Scientists are trying to find the reasons why and how brain cells start to die off. They are putting a lot of effort into studying the brains of those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as those who have metabolic syndrome (MetS), and how they relate to specific functions of the brain. Their hopes are to link memory loss to metabolic disorders, and maybe even isolate the reason for memory decline.

A French study, including 7,087 men and women aged 65 and older in three different French cities who exhibited at least 3-5 markers for cardio-metabolic abnormalities. Those markers included:

  • Hypertension
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Significant amount of fat around the waistline
  • Low, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL)
  • High levels of triglycerides – fatty molecules

Volunteers were tested for levels of a protein-like substance called beta-amyloid 42 (The beta-amyloid 42 substance has recently been found to be a potential indicator for people is at risk for developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia) and given a series of visual, memory and language tests. They were then divided into groups according to age, gender, education, IQ.

The conclusion was that MetS and several other markers had a negative impact on memory and cognitive function in older people, but did not identify any one marker that could foretell whether Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia could be identified from the protein alone.

From this study we can see that proper nutrition and exercise, along with memory training classes, and learning good memory techniques, will help to stimulate the brain and fight off dementia. But as for me my 1st course of business and focus is this Metabolic Syndrome that I have been diagnosed with. I am changing my diet, incorporating exercising and taking this very seriously. My brain is important to me but so is my heart and life. I encourage you to schedule your routine physical. Now off to drink a glass of water (instead of sweet tea)….dang it!!!

Article from the desk of Ron White




Neurology website – Article: Metabolic syndrome and cognitive decline in French elders: The Three-City Study: http://www.neurology.org/content/76/6/518.full?sid=191d6cc0-06be-40b6-9074-11c81e6aefa4

Science AAA’s websiteAlzheimer’s disease: a disorder of cortical cholinergic innervation: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/219/4589/1184.short

Neurological Review – The Role of Metabolic Disorders in Alzheimer Disease and Vascular Dementia: http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/66/3/300.pdf

Medline Plus – Genetic Brain Disorders: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/geneticbraindisorders.html

PubMed Health – Metabolic Syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004546/