Science Daily (sciencedaily.com) –
Monday, August 05, 2013
The report, newly published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests that the link may be to do with certain biological effects of breastfeeding. For example, breastfeeding restores insulin tolerance which is significantly reduced during pregnancy, and Alzheimer’s is characterized by insulin resistance in the brain.
Although they used data gathered from a very small group of just 81 British women, the researchers observed a highly significant and consistent correlation between breastfeeding and Alzheimer’s risk. They argue that this was so strong that any potential sampling error was unlikely.
At the same time, however, the connection was much less pronounced in women who already had a history of dementia in their family. The research team hope that the study — which was intended merely as a pilot — will stimulate further research looking at the relationship between female reproductive history and disease risk.
The findings may point towards new directions for fighting the global Alzheimer’s epidemic — especially in developing countries where cheap, preventative measures are desperately needed