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Researchers find link between diabetes and cognitive decline

Category: Diabetes

Individuals who have received unhealthy HbA1c tests indicating they have diabetes may be more likely to experience cognitive complications as they age, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said the findings were not entirely surprising given the link between diabetes and other health conditions like heart disease and kidney failure. In fact, previous investigations have shown that diabetics have reduced brain volume in old age.

For the present investigation, the team examined 147 individuals over the age of 65. The results showed that those who had diabetes were more likely to experience depression or memory loss. Additionally, they had higher levels of two molecules that cause inflammation.

Many of the complications that stem from diabetes are caused by tissue damage that results from inflammation. The researchers said that diabetes is likely connected to cognitive effects because it causes inflammation in blood vessels leading to the brain. This starves the organ of oxygenated blood. Over a period of many years this causes damage that takes the form of cognitive impairments.

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