Poor memory could result from diabetes

According to a new study published in journal Neurology, high amounts of blood glucose may lead to an increased risk for memory loss. In fact, diabetic patients suffer from cognitive impairment as well. In the past, medical experts have clearly linked dementia with type 2 diabetes.

Vascular dementia, a condition marked by progressive worsening of memory due to reduced blood flow in the brain, is one of the most damaging complications of diabetes mellitus. Damaged blood vessels in the brain can be extremely fatal. However, some German researchers believe that non-diabetic patients with high blood glucose levels may get subjected to memory loss.

In this study, the research team took 143 candidates with an average age of 63 for analysis of the brain. The participants were either diabetes-free or had pre-diabetes, a state manifested by impaired glucose tolerance due to insulin resistance. The medical investigators did not include people who were overweight, alcoholic or who already had cognitive disabilities.

Blood glucose examination followed by a memory test was carried out on all the participants. In one of these tests, the patients were required to recall a list of 15 words read out to them earlier. The hippocampus of the brain of all the candidates was scanned in order to measure the size since this section is a centre of emotion, memory and autonomous nervous system.

According to the results of the study, participants who had a high score on the memory tests showed no signs of diabetes. The researchers believe that an increase of 7 mmol/mol of a glucose marker called HbA1c causes difficulty in recalling the words.

The study could help diabetic patients to control blood glucose levels by following some strategies to prevent memory loss. Further investigations are mandatory to know the impact of lifestyle on blood glucose levels.

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