Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Metabolic Syndrome Health Center

Font Size

Metabolic Syndrome Can Reduce Mental Function

Inflammation From Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance Leads to Memory Loss

WebMD Health News

Nov. 9, 2004 -- Combine a big belly, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels and you have a metabolic mess capable of wreaking havoc on the heart. Now a new study shows that this "metabolic syndrome" can rob you of your memories, too.

The dramatic rise in obesity in the U.S. has made metabolic syndrome increasingly more common. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 47 million adults have metabolic syndrome. Being overweight and physically inactivate are leading causes.

Researchers reporting in the Nov. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association say elderly individuals with the metabolic syndrome have more memory problems and more decline in mental function than those who do not.

For the study, University of California, San Francisco, researcher Kristine Yaffe, MD, and colleagues evaluated the mental and physical health of 2,630 high-functioning elderly men and women whose average age was 74 at the start of this five-year study.

Researchers determined if metabolic syndrome was a risk for the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers also tested certain blood inflammatory markers to see if they affected the link between metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, the participants' memory and concentration were tested.

Patients were re-evaluated at three and five years.

Yaffe's team found that those with metabolic syndrome were 20% more likely to develop a decline in mental function compared with a group of elderly people without metabolic syndrome.

Decline in mental function was particularly pronounced in those with metabolic syndrome and high levels of blood inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, which has been linked to heart disease and stroke.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to document that metabolic syndrome is associated with poor mental function," the researchers write.

Today on WebMD

salad and fruit in refrigerator
How much do you know?
person pinching fat
What is it?
woman on bathroom scale
12 things that make it more likely.
vegetables in basket
What to do.
Heart Foods Slideshow
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Stroke Risk
Lowering Blood Pressure Slideshow
Salt Shockers
Cholesterol Fact or Fiction
Metabolic Syndrome 11 Things You Should Know
Omega 3 Overview Slideshow

WebMD Special Sections