Diabetes and Dementia: Is there REALLY a Connection?

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Diabetes mellitus, a condition affecting millions worldwide, is increasingly recognized as a significant risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. Despite its importance, cognitive impairment in diabetic patients often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed, leaving many to struggle with deteriorating memory and cognitive functions.

The connection between diabetes and brain health is not a recent discovery. Over a century ago, early 20th-century researchers observed that individuals with diabetes often reported issues with memory and attention.

In a groundbreaking study in 1922, it was found that diabetic patients exhibited impaired performance in cognitive tasks focused on memory and attention. This led to the coining of the term “diabetic encephalopathy” in 1950, describing the neurological complications arising from diabetes.

Other terms like “functional cerebral impairment” and “central neuropathy” have also been used to describe the cognitive dysfunctions linked to diabetes.

More recently, the term “diabetes-associated cognitive decline” (DACD) has been proposed to encapsulate the range of mild to moderate cognitive impairments associated with diabetes.

In one 11-year long study involving 1,017 adults aged 60 and older, researchers stated that those with diabetes are more likely than those without diabetes to develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Vascular dementia results when the brain is deprived of oxygen.

“Our findings emphasize the need to consider diabetes as a potential risk factor for dementia. Diabetes is a common disorder, and the number of people with it has been growing in recent years all over the world. Controlling diabetes is now more important than ever,” Yutaka Kiyohara, MD, PhD, said.

Review Outlines Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline

As one mega review points out, numerous studies have highlighted a variety of molecules and risk factors linked to cognitive decline in diabetic patients. These include:

  • Glucose metabolism
  • Insulin resistance
  • Inflammation
  • Comorbid depression
  • Vascular diseases

Additionally, changes in adipokines, neurotrophic molecules, and Tau protein levels have been observed in diabetic patients experiencing cognitive decline.

These early indicators of cognitive decline in diabetic patients warrant significant attention. They not only illuminate the pathogenesis of brain damage associated with diabetes but also open up possibilities for therapy monitoring in the foreseeable future.

A Little on Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is also known as lifestyle diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin or the cells do not respond to insulin produced.

This leads to a build-up of insulin in the blood. Lack of physical activity and being overweight are two of the most common causes of this condition.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best prevention and medicine. In fact, people who get serious about their health can completely reverse type 2 diabetes.

Here are a few tips for preventing and reversing diabetes:

  • Exercise
  • Eat plenty of vegetables
  • Avoid BPA
  • Consume cinnamon and other herbs for diabetes management
  • Consume vitamin K-rich foods like kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • Consume more turmeric
  • Have more magnesium

As diabetes continues to be a growing global epidemic and with more individuals living into old age, it’s more important than ever to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Originally posted: https://naturalsociety.com/diabetes-and-dementia-is-there-a-connection/

Author: Mike Barrett

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