Stress raises risk of mental decline in older diabetics, study shows

Feb 22, 2010

Stress raises the risk of memory loss and cognitive decline among older people with diabetes, research suggests.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied more than 900 men and women aged between 60 and 75 with type-2 diabetes, which tends to be common after the age of 40.

They found that brain function slowed in participants with higher levels of the stress hormone .

Dr Rebecca Reynolds, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: "We know that type-2 diabetes is linked to problems with memory, but the reason behind this is unclear.

"This study shows that older people with diabetes who have higher levels of in their blood are more likely to have experienced cognitive decline. It may be that by regulating cortisol levels, we could help improve in patients with type-2 diabetes."

The research published by is part of the Edinburgh Type-2 Diabetes Study, set up four years ago to better understand why people with diabetes may have memory problems.

Scientists evaluated mental abilities with a range of tests, which included looking at memory and assessing how quickly participants processed information. They compared this with general intelligence levels, using vocabulary tests, to work out whether in participants had diminished over time. Factors such as education, cardiovascular disease, smoking and mood were also taken into account.

Blood samples were taken from participants in the morning to assess levels of cortisol.

The researchers, who have been funded by the Medical Research Council, will now look at other factors which may also impact on .

They are now inviting people who enrolled when the Edinburgh Type-2 Diabetes Study was set up to take part in follow-up research to repeat the memory tests.

Explore further: Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

Provided by University of Edinburgh

3.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stress hormone impacts memory, learning in diabetic rodents

Feb 17, 2008

Diabetes is known to impair the cognitive health of people, but now scientists have identified one potential mechanism underlying these learning and memory problems. A new National Institutes of Health (NIH) study in diabetic ...

New research links diabetes to cognitive deterioration

Mar 05, 2009

Blindness, renal failure, stroke and heart disease are potential complications of type 2 diabetes, which currently afflicts more than 15 million Americans. Now research from Tel Aviv University has found more worrying news ...

Does diabetes speed up memory loss in Alzheimer's disease?

Oct 27, 2009

ST. PAUL, Minn. -Research has shown that diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and the risk of memory loss in people who don't have Alzheimer's disease. But it hasn't been clear whether people with Alzheimer's ...

Recommended for you

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

4 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

9 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

15 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