Diabetics lose memory faster15th June 2010
People who are diabetic lose their memories faster, according to a recent Dutch study.
The researchers found that people who had diabetes also had reduced thinking speed and mental flexibility by middle age.
The reason why seemed to have to do with the uncontrolled glucose levels that accompany the disease.
In previous studies, researchers have also linked diabetes to certain types of mental decline, including the ability to recall words.
But decline in overall mental functioning happens in the first five years after diagnosis, according to the recent finding.
David Knopman of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York, said that the brains of diabetics were like bicycle tyres that had deflated due to leaks.
The more leaks that were in the tyres, the more quickly they would run out of air.
The researchers also found that people suffering type 2 diabetes were the most likely to experience mental declines.
People whose diabetes is long-term have the steepest decline.
The researchers also found that people do not often realise they are losing their mental functioning, because the reduction happens bit by bit.
For the study, the researchers studied the health records and mental acuity scores of over 2,600 men and women.
All of the study subjects were between the ages of 45 and 70.
After the researchers had followed the study subjects for five years, they found that 139 of the study subjects already had type 2 diabetes.
Over the course of the study, 78 of the subjects developed the disease, and 61 of them already had the disease.
The study is the first to test how quickly mental decline happens after people discover they have diabetes.
People who have type 2 diabetes tend to have high blood sugar levels, because their bodies do not process sugar properly.
Through diet and exercise, they can control their condition, though drugs may also be necessary.
The researchers said that, when they took random blood tests of the diabetics in the study, they found that the treatment the diabetic subjects were receiving was probably insufficient.
They also said that controlling blood sugar levels can be a good way for diabetics to protect themselves against mental decline.
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Title: Diabetics lose memory faster
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 15149
Date Added: 15th Jun 2010