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New research out of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health discovered a possible link between lower levels of blood flow in the brain and metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors for heart disease.
The researchers examined 71 middle-aged people and found 29 people had metabolic syndrome, which can include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. The study authors were surprised at how low the levels of blood flow, which could lead to cognitive decline, were in those with the syndrome. The next step is to keep an eye on these individuals to see if this eventually leads to Alzheimer's.
"Having metabolic syndrome at middle age does have an effect on the brain, and there is some suggestion that if you have lower blood flow, certain types of memory functions are reduced," lead researcher Dr. Barbara Bendlin. "The key will be to follow these people over time, because we want to know if lower blood flow will lead to a gradual loss of memory and cognitive skills. But it's too early to say if these people will develop Alzheimer's."
The risk of developing heart disease and Alzheimer's increases with age, and it is important seniors take the necessary steps to stay healthy for longer. However, it is not always possible to keep conditions at bay, and some aging adults may want to ensure they are financially protected just in case. Purchasing a Medicare supplement insurance plan can give the senior and his or her family the peace of mind that they are protected financially in the event of an unexpected medical condition.