Obese people at risk for Alzheimer’s: Being overweight hurts brain neurons


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- As researchers are getting closer to understanding what causes Alzheimer’s, one local scientist weighs in on her findings, saying it’s obesity and type two diabetes.

Dr. Sue Griffin, of Neurobiology and Development at UAMS, explains that being even slightly overweight, puts a person at greater risk for getting Alzheimer’s.

Obesity prevents neurons in the brain from being able to receive essential glucose, according to Dr. Griffin. The neurons in-turn create a protein to protect themselves, which is killing the cells.

“So, we’re just adding sugar like crazy and people are uneducated about what they’re doing, like with their children,” Dr. Griffin said. “People now, nobody drinks water, everybody is just like ‘have apple juice, no, no, it’s okay,’ and all these sugary things that kids, growing up, are having and then just over-eating.”

She says diet fads are too hard for people to stick with. Instead, she recommends just being mindful of what you eat and cut down your portion sizes.

In addition to obesity and type-two diabetes, she says the other things that have been discovered to put one at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, are epileptic seizures and HIV, which affect brain cells.

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