Type 1 Diabetes Ages Brain Faster, Slows Down Cognitive Functions: Study

Type 1 diabetes effect on brain results in aging faster than normal slowing down memory retention, recollection and and processing, said a study.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh who studied the impact of type 1 diabetes on patients now suggest that doctors should go for frequent screening of the brain to test for cognitive functions, especially in the middle-aged patients.

Prof. Caterina Rosano of Pittsburgh Public Health Department of Epidemiology, said the consecutive complications starve the brain of oxygen severely affect cognitive functions and trigger cerebral small vessel disease. Vouching for early cardiometabolic control and keeping glycemic under control will help prevent microvascular complications and delay cognitive decay.

The Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Studied type 1 diabetes patients whose MRI of brain showed that 33% of them had moderate to severe levels of white matter hyperintensities which mark damage to the brain’s white matter compared with 7% among those without diabetes.diabetes2

When cognitive tests such as information-processing speed, manual dexterity and verbal intelligence were conducted, type 1 diabetes patients scored lower than the average non-diabetes patients and it showed further less in those with greater volumes of white matter hyperintensities.

Since the inicdence of type 1 diabetes is increasing, lead author Karen Nunley in Pitt Public Health’s neuroepidemiology program said more attention and clinical trials are required to further study the results. The study will be published in the journal Neurology.

In their earlier study,  the same department came out with a study that showed people with type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood glucose (blood sugar) early in their disease are likely to live longer than those who do not, according to their paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association dated Jan. 6, 2015.

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