Type 2 diabetes increases risk for dementia

Aug. 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Cardiovascular disease may affect the brains of diabetes patients long before they realize they have it, U.S. researchers say.

Christina Hugenschmidt of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., analyzed data on 516 people with diabetes. She checked data on hearts and blood vessels for sub-clinical signs of damage, but with no noticeable symptoms. Hugenschmidt also examined results of tests that gauge thinking ability.

"People with higher levels of sub-clinical cardiovascular disease had lower scores on several different kinds of thinking tests," Hugenschmidt said in a statement.

She said the results indicated the effects of diabetes on blood vessels impact the brain's functioning ability.

"There has been a lot of research looking at the links between type 2 diabetes and increased risk for dementia, but this is the first study to look specifically at sub-clinical cardiovascular disease and the role it plays," Hugenschmidt said. "Our research shows cardiovascular disease risk caused by diabetes even before it's at a clinically treatable level might be bad for your brain."

The study was published at the Journal of Diabetes.

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