A new study has revealed that those who develop type 2 diabetes might find themselves having poorer memory and thinking skills in as little as two (2) years. The reason is that the brain experiences problems with blood flow.
Dr. Vera Novak, associate professor of neurology over at the Harvard Medical School (Boston), gave a statement saying that “Our major finding is we have linked the acceleration of the cognitive decline to impaired blood flow regulation in the brain”.
The researchers explained that both insulin resistance, as well as elevated blood sugar levels, cause blood vessels to dilate which in turn causes more blood to make its way to the brain. It turns out that the brain requires a specific amount of blood flow in order to function properly. Statistically speaking, this means that those with type 2 diabetes have 75 percent (75%) more of a chance of developing one type of dementia or another.
The bodies of patients with type 2 diabetes fail to use insulin efficiently and can’t make enough of it to keep blood sugar levels under control. But insulin is a hormone that’s essential for metabolizing carbohydrates found in carious foods.
What’s more, the study showed that the higher a patient’s blood sugar levels are, the more blood vessel dilation problems they will encounter. The link held true all throughout the duration of the study, which lasted several months.
For their study, published earlier this week, on Wednesday (July 8, 2015), in the journal Neurology, Dr. Novak and her colleagues looked at 40 subjects with the age somewhere between 50 and 85. As a measure of control they dad two (2) groups – 19 of the subjects suffered from the metabolic disease, while 21 didn’t.
The researchers first tested the memory and think skills of subjects at the beginning of the study, than repeated the tests two (2) years later. There was also a physical examination which included MRI scans that helped the experts get an idea of the blood flow in their brains, and blood tests that that informed on what their inflammation and avenge blood sugar levels were.
When they compared the two (2) rounds of tests, the team from Boston found that the ability to regulate blood flow in the brain had become weaker in those suffering from type 2 diabetes in the two (2) year gap. Their scores of memory and thinking tests had also lowered.
To be exact, the scores of those with the metabolic disorder dropped from 46 to 41 points on average, while the scores of those without the metabolic disorder stayed the same, at an average of 55 points. What this means is that type 2 diabetes patients who remembered 10 words on the first round of tests, only remembered 8 or 9 in the second one.
On average, there was a decrease of 65 percent (65%) in blood flow regulation in the subjects with type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Marc Gordon, chief of neurology over at Zucker Hillside Hospital (Manhasset), gave a statement of his own, informing that the link between type 2 diabetes, cell inflammation and issues with blood flow is not a new one. What’s new is that the study proves that the changes that the blood vessels suffer are a direct result of the internal circumstances of type 2 diabetes.
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