Diabetes Lowers Thinking Skills
It's widely known that type 2 diabetes can do significant damage to the body. Now, research at Harvard Medical School suggests it also can cause a decline in a person's thinking skills.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, examined 40 people with an average age of 66--19 of them had type 2 diabetes. Those with diabetes had received an average of 13 years of treatment. The participants were given cognition and memory tests, MRI scans of the brain, and blood tests to measure control of blood sugar and inflammation at the beginning of the study, and again after two years.
The rsearchers found that after two years, the participants with diabetes showed a decrease in blood flow to the brain. They also tested lower on memory and thinking skills, and reported a more difficult time completing daily activities like cooking and bathing.
Additionally, higher levels of inflammation were associated with the decrease in blood flow to the brain – even if the participant had control over their diabetes and blood pressure.
The research emphasizes the importance of early detection of diabetes, as well as the importance of monitoring blood flow in patients with type 2 diabetes. That could serve as a key predictor of a decline in a person's cognitive and decision-making skills.