Diabetes Can Cause Memory Issues Later On

A new study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has indicated that having diabetes at midlife can make the mind age about five years more rapidly than in normal individuals. The study was published to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. In the study, researchers looked at data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC). From this study, nearly 16,000 people of middle-age residing in the United States were obtained.


The researchers reviewed their cognitive function by performing three visits throughout the study beginning in 1987 through 2013. During each session, the researchers looked at the amount of cognitive decline that was associate with aging and compared this amount to the amount observed in the participants in the student. The study indicated that there was a 19 percent increase in mental decline in those patients that were doing poorly with managing their blood sugar levels and diabetes. There were smaller levels of mental decline for people who did not have diabetes but only pre-diabetes and those individuals that were properly managing their diabetes.


The study also indicated that the research is the longest initiative to look at a population of adults as they age. Diabetes is the result of a lack of insulin in the body. This lack of insulin results in higher sugar levels in the blood. The excess sugar levels can damage the body’s vascular system and result in a number of complications. The complications form diabetes can include blindness, damage to the nerves and kidney disease. Being overweight or obese is one of the highest risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes makes up roughly 95% of diabetes cases. The researchers recommend maintaining a healthy weight along with a healthy diet and exercise in order to prevent diabetes and mental decline.


Preventing mental decline means that patients have to take on lifestyle changes earlier. In addition, researchers believe by simply taking the measures to prevent or delay diabetes, individuals can also reduce the risk of mental decline. Dementia is not only caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research has also indicated that cognitive impairment can be caused by abnormalities in the brain blood vessels. There are a number of ways to reduce the impact of cerebral blood vessel disease which primarily involves controlling diabetes. Patients can also benefit by stopping smoking and increasing exercise and eating healthier diets. In addition, finding out about risks for diabetes can help patients to become educated sooner and start making the changes to prevent mental decline sooner.

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