People with diabetes develop problems with blood flow that affect brain function and cognition, state researchers at Harvard Medical School. In this two-year study, 65 people with an average age of 66 years were monitored for blood flow to the brain and cognitive function. Nineteen of the participants had type 2 diabetes and 21 were diabetes-free. Results showed that people with diabetes showed reduced blood flow to the brain, which was associated with a decline in thinking and memory skills. The higher a person’s average blood sugar, the worse the problem with blood vessel dilation. Inflammation also contributed to restriction of blood vessels, but only in the diabetic patients. The damaging effects of diabetes on brain function occurs in as little as two years.
Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R.D.
Chung C, Pimentel D, Jordan A, et al: Inflammation-associated declines in cerebral vasoreactivity and cognition in type 2 diabetes. Neurology 2015;July 8th.