10 September 2010

Dementia Warning Signs Identified in Type 2 Diabetics: Study

High blood pressure, slow gait, self-reported bad health might signal decline, researchers say

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Three factors linked to cognitive deficits in older adults with type 2 diabetes have been identified in a new study.

Canadian researchers looked at 41 adults, ageds 55 to 81, with type 2 diabetes and found that those who had high blood pressure, walked slowly or had balance problems, or believed they were in bad health were much more likely to have poorer memory and slower, more rigid cognitive processing than those without these three problems.

The study appears in the September issue of the journal Neuropsychology.

While these factors may not actually cause cognitive deficits, their presence could alert doctors that such problems may exist or soon develop, the researchers said.

"Awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease -- and to motivate them to do so," study co-author Roger Dixon, of the University of Alberta, said in an American Psychological Association news release.

Previous research has shown that type 2 diabetes nearly doubles the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Increasing rates of diabetes among older people in Western nations could lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people with dementia, Dixon noted.

In the United States, 23 percent of people older than 60 have diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines the warning signs of dementia.

(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules