Metabolic syndrome and then type 2 diabetes appear to be the most avoidable of age-related conditions: don't get fat and exercise regularly. It's not rocket science. Here's another good reason to keep up with good health practices: "cognitive functioning abilities drop as average blood sugar levels rise in people with type 2 diabetes. ... The tests used in the study measured several aspects of memory function. For example, we tested one's ability to switch back and forth between memory tasks or to 'multitask,' an important skill for people needing to manage their diabetes. ... The results showed that a 1 percent increase in [average blood glucose levels] corresponded to slightly lower scores on tests of psychomotor speed, global cognitive function, memory and multiple task management. ... One of the little known complications of type 2 diabetes is memory decline leading to dementia, particularly Alzheimer's dementia. This study adds to the growing evidence that poorer blood glucose control is strongly associated with poorer memory function and that these associations can be detected well before a person develops severe memory loss."