The fact that diabetes can produce damage to a number of organs is well known. The disease can affect the eyes, kidneys, as well as the heart. However, until this moment, there was no evidence that blood sugar can also affect the brain for patients who have type 2 diabetes.
type 2 diabetics may have cognitive impairment
This means that people suffering from type 2 diabetes might experience drops in cognitive functions. Memory decline, and also poor decision-making skills as they age, are two of the problems people with diabetes can have.
In the study published on the 8th of July in the journal Neurology, and funded by the U.S. National Institute on Ageing, the American Diabetes Association, the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center and the U.S. National Center for Research Resources were evaluated forty people, with the average age of 66. Nineteen of them had type 2 diabetes, while the rest didn’t have a blood sugar disease.
All volunteers were tested at the beginning of the study, as well as after two years. They were given MRI scans to check the blood in their brains, and they completed memory and thinking tests. Also, their blood sugar levels and inflammation were investigated.
researchers say inflammation levels of brain worsened blood flow regulation
According to the researchers, the inflammation levels of the brain made the blood flow regulation worse. The higher the inflammation levels, the worse the blood flow regulation becomes. That was a problem, even for people who had good control of their diabetes.
The dilatation of the blood vessels was the reason why more blood could flow through the brain, and adequate amounts of blood are crucial for people to perform normal thinking, or to be able to do their daily activities.
Researchers will continue studying ways for the brain functions to be improved, through the health of blood vessels. At this moment, the investigation is focusing on a method that involves inhaling insulin through the nose. They are also working on blood pressure medicine that would improve the brain vessel activity.
new study currently being planned
In addition, as stated by the research team, a new study involving a larger group of people is needed and planned, since a better understanding of how type 2 diabetes may affect blood flow to the brain is necessary.