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Memory Loss Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

Aging humans with indications of the metabolic syndrome, which include high blood pressure, increased fat around the waist, and other risk factors may be more susceptible to succumbing to memory loss, according to a recent study published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of he American Academy of Neurology.

Metabolic syndrome is often defined as having three or more of the following risk factors: high blood sugar and low high-density lipoprotein *(HDL), high blood pressure, excess fat around the waist, and higher than normal triglycerides (a type of fat sound in the blood).

Seven thousand eighty-seven people age 65 and older from three french cities were used in the study. After initial testing, 15% of the subjects had metabolic syndrome. All the people in the study were given a series of memory and cognitive function tests over two-and four-year periods. The tests included a memory test, a test of visual working memory and a test of word fluency. The results indicted that people who had metabolic syndrome were 20% more likely to have cognitive decline on the memory test than those who did not have metabolic syndrome. Similar negative outcomes were shown with the other tests as well.