To Your Health
January, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 01)
Type 2 Diabetes: Bad for the Brain
By Editorial Staff
Type 2 diabetes
is no fun for anyone, regardless of age, with potential symptoms such as fatigue, blurred vision, unintended weight loss, frequent infections and slow wound healing; and potential complications including heart disease, kidney problems, and nerve damage, sometimes leading to extremity amputation.
Alzheimer's disease is another potential complication of type 2 diabetes, which raises the question, how does type 2 diabetes affect the brain? Recent research in Diabetologia suggests it also may impact memory, particularly in seniors and particularly when it comes to verbal recall.
Researchers tracked more than 700 older adults (ages 55-90 at the start of the study) for several years (4.6 years on average). Nearly half of the seniors had type 2 diabetes at baseline. During the study period, verbal memory and fluency - indicative of cognitive decline - declined in seniors with diabetes, but actually increased slightly in non-diabetic seniors.
Here's the good news: Type 2 diabetes is preventable or reversible in an estimated 90 percent of cases using two simple, nondrug tactics: proper diet and consistent exercise! Talk to your doctor to learn more about type 2 diabetes and how to reduce your risk.