If you have diabetes, it can have a profound effect on the way your brain processes information.
The body of research is growing, and it’s leading to some unpleasant conclusions about how diabetes affects the brain.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, finds that people with type 2 diabetes show a decline in cognitive skills and the ability to perform normal, everyday activities in just two years time, according to a Huffington Post report.
The changes have to do with a lack of ability to properly pump blood into the brain due to inflammation — something that is commonly found in people with type 2 diabetes.
The brain typically sends blood to necessary areas with increased neural activity, but in diabetic patients, the brain is impaired in its ability to do this.
Specifically, scientists found that those who have abnormal blood flow regulation show mental and functional decline as the year progress.
Scientists examined 65 men and women who had an average age of 66 for the study. Half of them had type 2 diabetes, and half of them did not have the disease. They were given memory and cognition tests at the beginning of the study, and the tests were given again a couple years later. They were also given brain scans to measure the brain’s volume and its blood flow.
Those with diabetes showed a decline in gray matter that was worse than those who did not. Blood flow regulation decreased by a whopping 65 percent on average for diabetic patients. Also, their scores on the tests declined by an average of 12 percent, compared to the test scores of non-sufferers, which stayed the same.
The findings may help the medical community create better treatments for those who are losing their thinking and memory skills, as well as help scientists better understand the disease in general and the risks they pose.