Type 2 diabetes has often been referred to as the silent killer. It represents 90 percent of all cases of diabetes and it is responsible for various conditions that the patient might develop. Unless you keep it under control, you may lose your feet or legs, you may go blind, suffer from strokes and heart attacks.
Furthermore, numerous studies have found links between diabetes and dementia and cognitive dysfunctions.
A new research proves that type 2 diabetes can also severely affect both cognitive functions and the ability to carry out basic daily tasks such as bathing or cooking.
The researchers examined 40 people aged 66 on average. Out of these, 21 did not suffer from type 2 diabetes and the other 19 did. They analyzed these people’s ability to regulate blood flow in their brains.
All of the people were asked to take memory and cognitive tests. After a couple of years the researchers measured these parameters again and came to the conclusion that the healthy people performed much better than the ones who had diabetes.
They concluded that it was the blood flow to the brain the one responsible for such modifications. This was mainly because those who recorded the poorest blood flow also performed the lowest in the various tests they all had to take.
Moreover, these people also displayed difficulties in doing simple tasks that are part of each person’s daily routine, such as cooking and bathing.
Dr. Vera Novak from Harvard Medical School explained that in order to carry out such tasks, you need a regular blood flow, but in the case of diabetic people, “vasodilation ability is reduced, so you have fewer resources to perform any task.”
Both diabetes and high blood sugar can affect decision-making and cognitive skills. While normal blood flow enables the brain to send blood to certain parts of the brain that have a more intense activity while the person is doing certain tasks, a lower blood flow would obviously have a negative effect on such performance.
Unfortunately, there are more than 250 million people all over the world who suffer from type 2 diabetes and this number is very likely to grow, given the expansion and popularity of the Western diet, which has often been associated with obesity and diabetes.
The results of the study were published in the journal Neurology.
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