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Higher blood sugar levels linked to lower brain function in diabetics, study shows
Date:2/11/2009

poorer memory function and that these associations can be detected well before a person develops severe memory loss."

Diabetes is a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies have shown that people with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to experience cognitive decline and develop dementia than people without diabetes. The ACCORD-MIND study supports the idea that the brain's chronic exposure to elevated blood glucose levels may be part of the explanation for this phenomenon.

Alternatively, people with impaired cognitive ability have higher A1Cs because they are less compliant in taking medications and controlling their diabetes. The ongoing ACCORD-MIND study, which is overseen by Williamson and a team of Wake Forest Baptist researchers, will test the hypothesis that lowering A1C could result in improved cognitive function.

Meanwhile, "people with type 2 diabetes and their health care providers need to be careful in situations where there is education and teaching about diabetes care, as patients may need a little more time to absorb and process information," Williamson said. "Patients also need to be open to having a family member periodically making sure they are keeping track of managing their diabetes through monitoring, diet, exercise and medication."


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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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