"The idea that how we treat diabetes could affect all-cause dementia is very exciting," Lipton said.
Whitmer hopes to do more research to determine whether the long-term use of metformin would have an even greater effect, whether larger doses make a difference and whether there would be a difference in risk reduction based on the type of dementia.
For now, she said, it's important to remember this: "The brain isn't isolated. When you think about your brain health you should be thinking about whole body health, and think about it over your life course. Dementia shows up late in life, but those changes start a decade or more before they show up. What's good for the health of the heart is also what's good for the brain."
Learn more about preventing Alzheimer's disease from the National Institute on Aging.
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