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'Sugary drinks could increase risk of Alzheimer's'

'Sugary drinks could increase risk of Alzheimer's'
10th December 2007

Drinking large amounts of sugary drinks could increase the risk of people developing Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.

Previous studies have highlighted the links between obesity and diabetes and higher incidences of Alzheimer's. The new research aimed to test whether high sugar consumption would have a direct effect.

Researchers from the University of Alabama genetically modified mice to develop Alzheimer's like symptoms in adulthood and fed them 10 per cent sugar water for 25 weeks.

Afterwards they tested the metabolism, memory skills and brain composition of the mice compared with a control group.

The sugar-fed mice had worse learning and memory retention. Their brains also contained high levels of amyloid plaque deposits, an anatomical hallmark of Alzheimer's.

Researchers concluded the results highlighted the potential risk of sugary drinks.

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 417,000 people throughout the UK, according to the Alzheimer's Society.

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