Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has received a new $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. 

The funding will be used to study the relationship between several things: Type 2 diabetes, being overweight or obese, and dementia and Alzheimer's.

The goal is to collect additional data on research that's been ongoing around the country since 2001.

Dr. Mark Espeland, professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, says the study is crucial because we're in the midst of a diabetes epidemic.

“Diabetes and obesity both increase one's risk, when they occur in mid-life, increase one's late-life risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease by 50 percent," he says. "In combination, they may even double it.”

Previous research has found that for some overweight or obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle improvements like a healthier diet and more exercise could help reduce cognitive decline.

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