Sugar/Carbs Impacts Short Term Memory

Higher blood sugar may harm the brain and disrupt memory function. Avoid Sugar and Carbohydrates To Improve Brain Health and ADHD Symptoms.

In diabetics, eating a lot of sugar and other carbohydrates can be harmful to both brain structure and function. Does glucose have an effect on people who do not have diabetes? Yes, according to a recent study in Neurology. Higher blood sugar may prove disruptive to the brain and memory, even in the absence of diabetes and glucose intolerance. Charité University Medical Center in Berlin studied the brain structure of 141 healthy, nondiabetic older men and women between the ages of 50 and 80.

In the study, memory and the region of the brain responsible for memory—the hippocampus–were tested, with subjects being asked to remember and repeat 15 unrelated words after periods of time. In addition, each participant had their blood tested after 10 hours of going without food, and also had an MRI brain scan. Overall, those with the higher blood sugar readings performed worse on the memory test, compared to those with lower blood sugar levels. Also, imaging revealed a smaller hippocampus was found to be among those with higher blood sugar levels.

Still, the study could not determine if the blood sugar levels are what caused the memory problems or compromised brain structure and shrunken hippocampus. According to study co-author Agnes Flöel, a neurologist at Charité, the results “provide further evidence that glucose might directly contribute to hippo-campal atrophy,” but she cautions that their data cannot establish a causal relation between sugar and brain health.

Sugar/Carbs Impacts Short Term Memory.  Can brain damage be undone?

Fortunately, the hippocampus is resilient and its function can be recovered once blood sugar levels are under control, but future research will need to determine exactly how diet and lifestyle can reverse such pathological changes.