ADA: Mental Decline Quicker in T1D

CHICAGO -- Microvascular disease in long-standing type 1 diabetes may mildly accelerate decline in cognition and brain volume loss, a study showed.

Executive function decreased by 0.4 standard deviations -- on a scale on which 2 standard deviations would be as impaired as Alzheimer's disease -- compared with healthy controls over an average of less than 4 years (P=0.030), Eelco van Duinkerken, PhD, of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues found.

That decline correlated with the greater loss of brain volume during the study period among type 1 diabetes patients with microangiopathy, the group reported here at the American Diabetes Association meeting.

Overall cognition, information processing speed, and attention were significantly lower than in healthy controls to start with and remained that way through follow-up.

"The clinical implications are hard to define with such a small study," Rubina Heptulla, MD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, told MedPage Today. "But it suggests if you have microvascular complications of diabetes, it could not only affect your functioning of your brain but also structural abnormalities that correlate." More...

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