The disease can have many negative consequences and affect many sectors of the patient’s life. A new study reveals that it can have a bad effect in the person’s cognitive functions and decision-making skills.
This will, in turn, prevent that person from being able to perform ordinary daily activities normally. An explanation for this is the fact that these patients’ blood flow in the brain is affected two years after they have developed the disease. This leads to alterations in their ability to score better in cognition tests and carry out ordinary activities that used to be part of their daily routine.
“Normal blood flow regulation allows our brain to redistribute blood to areas of the brain that have increased activity while performing certain tasks Our results suggest that diabetes and high blood sugar impose a chronic negative effect on cognitive and decision-making skills,” explained Vera Novak, from Harvard Medical School.
About 40 people, whose average age was 66 years old were involved in the study. About half of them suffered from type 2 diabetes for an average on 13 years, while the other half were healthy.
Both groups of participants were tested initially and two years after that. These tests were quite comprehensive and consisted of MRI scans to analyze the blood flow and the brain’s volume, blood tests that showed the sugar levels and the level of inflammation, memory tests and cognition tests.
After no more than two years, the tests revealed that those who suffered from diabetes had a lower blood flow in their brains by 65 percent. This probably affected their memory test scores, which were also lower than 24 months before by as much as 12 percent. Other skills were affected too, such as their thinking skills and the ability to fulfill daily tasks like cooking or bathing themselves.
Their blood flow was also affected by high inflammation levels, even if patients had good control over the disease and their blood pressure in general, , according to the lead study author.
Novak added that a way to prevent cognitive functions and skills from declining is to detect the disease as soon as possible and constantly monitor your blood flow regulation.
The results of the study were published in the journal Neurology.
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