Cognitive problems associated with diabetes duration and severity

Aug 11, 2008

Individuals with mild cognitive impairment appear more likely to have earlier onset, longer duration and greater severity of diabetes, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Neurology.

Mild cognitive impairment is a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia, according to background information in the article. Previous studies have found an association between mild cognitive impairment and diabetes. Poor blood glucose control over time may lead to neuron loss, and diabetes is associated with cardiovascular disease risk and stroke, which also may increase the risk of cognitive impairment.

Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B.Ch.B., M.S., and colleagues at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., studied individuals from Olmsted County, Minnesota, who were age 70 to 89 on Oct. 1, 2004. Participants received a neurological examination, neuropsychological evaluation and tests of blood glucose levels, and completed an interview with questions about diabetes history, treatment and complications. A medical records linkage system was used to confirm diabetes history.

Rates of diabetes were similar among 329 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (20.1 percent) and 1,640 participants without mild cognitive impairment (17.7 percent). However, mild cognitive impairment was associated with developing diabetes before age 65, having diabetes for 10 years or longer, being treated with insulin and having diabetes complications.

"Severe diabetes mellitus is more likely to be associated with chronic hyperglycemia [high blood glucose], which, in turn, increases the likelihood of cerebral microvascular disease and may contribute to neuronal damage, brain atrophy and cognitive impairment," the authors write. That individuals with the eye disease diabetic retinopathy were twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment supports the theory that diabetes-related damage to blood vessels in the brain may contribute to the development of cognitive problems.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Self-control impaired in type 2 diabetics

Feb 10, 2010

Type-2 diabetes, an increasingly common complication of obesity, is associated with poor impulse control. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine suggest that neurological change ...

Huskies lend insight into mercury risk

Nov 20, 2011

Researchers have highlighted the serious health risks associated with the diets of indigenous people by linking the accumulation of mercury in their primary food source to a decrease in the power of antioxidants.

Recommended for you

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

9 hours ago

Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.

Cerebral palsy may be hereditary

15 hours ago

Cerebral palsy is a neurological developmental disorder which follows an injury to the immature brain before, during or after birth. The resulting condition affects the child's ability to move and in some ...

19 new dengue cases in Japan, linked to Tokyo park

21 hours ago

Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo.

User comments : 0