When you body is not able to break down and absorb food correctly, it has an affect on how your brain functions. Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, can cause havoc throughout your body, and especially with your brain when it comes to memory and cognitive functions. If your body is not able to absorb the nutrients it can not function properly.

In school the teachers told us, “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. There is a direct correlation between the two, especially since we know that what happens in our brain (the central part of anything going on in the body) affects all areas of our body.

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.

Neuroscientists are trying to find the reasons behind the dying off of cells. 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 brain functions. They hope to link memory loss to metabolic disorders, and maybe even isolate the reason for memory decline.

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 around 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.

A French study, including 7087 men and women aged 65 and older in three different French cities that exhibited at least 3-5 markers for heart and metabolic abnormalities. Those markers included:

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

They divided the group of volunteers in the study into groups according to gender, age, education, IQ tests, and if they tested for a high or low level 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).  Each subject was given a series of visual, memory and language tests. What they concluded 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 market that could foresee the future of the disease. Researchers are hoping to show that if the beta-amyloid 42 is found to be a precursor to metabolic disorders they may be able to give a simple blood test to find out if a person may develop Alzheimer’s or dementia in the future.




About the author:

Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.



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 website- Alzheimer’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/