People with type 2 diabetes who have higher-than-average blood sugar levels for over 2–3 months also have lower brain function, according to the Memory in Diabetes (MIND) study published in Diabetes Care (2009; 32 ; 221–26). Researchers used data from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, a study of 10,251 people with type 2 diabetes and high risk for heart disease. Investigators found a significant association between people with above-average blood sugar levels and poorer performance on three mental tasks that tested memory, speed and multitasking abilities.
Whether high blood sugar levels lead to cognitive impairment or vice versa is unclear. Scientists intend to keep following patients over time to determine whether brain function improves as blood sugar levels fall. Prior studies show that people with diabetes experience cognitive decline and dementia 1.5 times more than those without diabetes.
To learn more about this study and issues facing people with type 2 diabetes, see the website of the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.