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May 9, 2007

Study Shows Link Between Diabetes And Mild Cognitive Impairment

Topics: Medicine

MEMORY_BRAIN.gifIn view of the increasing numbers of type 2 diabetics anticipated in future decades, this indeed is pretty gloomy news, and calls attention to the need for lifestyle changes to avoid diabetes as well as the other known risk factors for MCI and Alzheimer's. According to a report in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, individuals with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, a condition that involves difficulties with thinking and learning and may be an intermediate step toward Alzheimer's disease:

[...] "Among cardiovascular risk factors, type 2 diabetes mellitus has been consistently related to a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease," the authors write as background information in the article. Mild cognitive impairment-particularly a type known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment, which affects memory more significantly than non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment-is increasingly recognized as a transitional state between normal functioning and Alzheimer's disease.

Jos' A. Luchsinger, M.D., and colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, studied 918 individuals older than 65 years (average age 75.9) who did not have mild cognitive disorder or dementia when they enrolled between 1992 and 1994. At the beginning of the study and again every 18 months through 2003, each participant underwent an in-person interview and standard assessment, which included a medical history, physical and neurological examination, and a battery of neurological tests that measured learning, memory, reason and language skills, among others. Of the participants, 23.9 percent had diabetes, 68.2 percent had hypertension, 33.9 percent had heart disease and 15 percent had had a stroke.

During an average of 6.1 years of follow-up, 334 individuals developed mild cognitive impairment, including 160 amnestic cases and 174 non-amnestic cases. Diabetes was related to a significantly higher risk of mild cognitive impairment overall and of amnestic mild cognitive impairment specifically after controlling for other factors that may affect risk, including age, ethnic group, years of education and heart and blood vessel disease.

... Diabetes could be related to a higher risk for amnestic mild cognitive impairment by directly affecting the build-up of plaques in the brain, a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer's disease

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More on MCI here ...

Posted by Richard at May 9, 2007 10:54 PM



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