Diabetes Can Promote Cognitive Decline in Geriatric Patients

A new study published in Neurology, has shown that long-term inflammation in older patients with diabetes can also hasten their cognitive decline.

Inflammation, the body's defence mechanism against injury and infection, can also lead to the development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Research has shown that a vicious cycle ensues, with insulin resistance leading to increased inflammation.

type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)

Now, a new study published in Neurology, has shown that long-term inflammation in older patients with diabetes can also hasten their cognitive decline. The study authors followed 65 patients with , evenly split in both genders and an average of 66 years old, to evaluate the relationships between inflammation, cerebral vasoregulation, and cognitive decline in T2DM. When the trial participants were evaluated at 2 years, a diminished global and regional cerebral vasoreactivity was observed, along with a decline in multiple cognitive tasks compared with their baseline activity at the beginning of the study, the authors write. Additionally, the authors noted that high levels of serum soluble intercellular and vascular adhesion molecules, higher cortisol, and higher C-reactive protein levels were associated with greater decreases in cerebral vasoreactivity and vasodilation in the T2DM group.

according to study author Vera Novak, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Their findings led to the conclusion that inflammation may further impair cerebral vasoregulation, which in turn hastens decline in executive function and daily activities that the older diabetic population performs.

Source: ScienceDaily

"Normal blood flow regulation allows the brain to redistribute blood to areas of the brain that have increased activity while performing certain tasks. People with type 2 diabetes have impaired blood flow regulation. Our results suggest that diabetes and high blood sugar impose a chronic negative effect on cognitive and decision-making skills,"