The disease that can shrink your brain

Bigger may not always be better. But when it comes to your brain, you want to keep it as big as possible.

A smaller brain is a brain in decline -- and while all our brains shrink a little with age, faster brain atrophy rate is a sure sign of cognitive decline and even dementia.

But there's one step you can take today to slow or stop that shrink, and it's not a "do" so much as a "don't."

Don't get diabetes!

In addition to all the obvious reasons to avoid the disease -- including a higher risk of heart attack and an early death -- new research finds that diabetes can speed the rate of brain atrophy.

In fact, the damage seen in the brains of diabetics looks remarkably like what we see in the brains of dementia patients, according to the study of brain scans of more than 700 patients, including both diabetics and non-diabetics.

Diabetics even do worse on cognitive tests, proving again that faster brain atrophy means faster decline.

And this isn't the first study to find a link between diabetes and dementia.

We know, for example, that diabetes alone is a major risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Even slight jumps in blood sugar levels -- levels not high enough to be considered diabetes -- can cause brain atrophy.

And as I told you recently, those same bumps in blood sugar can increase your risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

That's why it's critical to get your blood sugar levels under control and keep them that way -- so if you don't have diabetes, work on your diet to make sure you never get it.

And if you already have the disease, it's not too late. The same changes that could've helped you to avoid diabetes in the first place can help you to keep the disease under control and even reverse the damage now.

But if you already have the disease, there's a chance your brain is already shrinking -- so don't wait.

Get started today.