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Type 1 Diabetes And Memory Loss

Diabetes And Depression

Diabetes And Depression

The impact of this widespread disease on the brain is often overlooked. The complications of uncontrolled diabetes are well recognized: nerve damage, kidney disease, blindness, and circulation problems that affect the extremities. The disease’s impact on the brain, however, is often overlooked. This oversight could spell trouble for millions of Americans who face the daily challenge of controlling their blood sugar. Get more news from "On the Brain" the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute newsletter An estimated 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Another 79 million have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. A growing body of evidence suggests that the cognitive health of millions with the disease is as much at risk as are other body systems from the effects of out-of-control blood sugar. “Unlike for certain other diseases, scientists originally didn’t know where to look in the brain for the effects of diabetes,” said Gail Musen, an HMS assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant investigator in the Section on Clinical, Behavioral, and Outcomes Research at Joslin Diabetes Center. “We knew, theoretically, that because it affects so much else in the body, it also could affect the brain,” she said. Since Musen’s first study of diabetes and brain function nearly a decade ago, the scientific community has gained a greater understanding of how diabetes—primarily type 1 diabetes—affects brain function. Shrinking brain Musen’s 2006 study, reported in the journal Diabetes, was the first comprehensive study of density changes in the brain’s gray matter as a result of type 1 diabetes. Its findings suggested that persistent Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Pre-diabetes And Memory Loss

Diabetes, Pre-diabetes And Memory Loss

People get diabetes when their blood glucose level, sometimes called blood sugar, is too high. Diabetes can lead to dangerous health problems, such as having a heart attack or stroke. The good news is that there are things you can do to take control of diabetes and prevent its problems. And, if you are worried about getting diabetes, there are things you can do to lower your risk. What Is Diabetes? Our bodies change the food we eat into glucose. Insulin helps glucose get into our cells where it can be used to make energy. If you have diabetes, your body may not make enough insulin, may not use insulin in the right way, or both. That may cause too much glucose in the blood. Your family doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in taking care of people with diabetes, called an endocrinologist. Types Of Diabetes There are two kinds of diabetes that can happen at any age. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. This type of diabetes develops most often in children and young adults. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin, but doesn’t use it the right way. It is the most common kind of diabetes. You may have heard it called adult-onset diabetes. Your chance of getting type 2 diabetes is higher if you are overweight, inactive, or have a family history of diabetes. Diabetes can affect many parts of your body. It’s important to keep type 2 diabetes under control. People with type 2 diabetes have a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Pre-diabetes Many people have “pre-diabetes”; this means their glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Pre-diabetes is an important warning signal because people with pre-diabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. People who are pre-diabetic are asked to w Continue reading >>

Are People With Diabetes More Prone To Aggression?

Are People With Diabetes More Prone To Aggression?

Relationship Between Blood Glucose Level and Self-Control Blood sugar can make people do crazy things. According to a recent scientific study on the link between low blood glucose level and relationship clashes (Bushman et al, 2014), being hungry makes an individual generally cranky and act more hostile to others. In the study, couples who are hungry tend to have a much higher tendency to exhibit aggression towards each other and become more impulsive in their reactions. This phenomenon is often referred to “hangry” (meaning feeling angry when you are hungry). If this irritable state can happen to any healthy person who experiences a change in their blood glucose level, imagine the ordeals individuals with diabetes frequently go through on a daily basis. However, do not jump to the conclusion that diabetes leads to aggression. In fact, scientists find a more direct correlation between blood glucose level and self-control. I recommend reading the following articles: In a way, you can visualize self-control as a muscle that requires a lot of energy to sustain so that it does not become ineffective quickly. This energy source comes from the glucose in the blood. So what kind of activities can wear out this “muscle”? Any daily activities that require self-discipline such as forcing yourself to get out of bed early to exercise, resisting from having a soda drink or another cookie with your meal, stopping yourself from smoking, dealing with stressful situations at work and at home, and abstaining yourself from road rage. As you can see, self-control plays a crucial part in restraining inappropriate and aggressive behaviors. So when people are low in glucose, the self-control mechanism cannot function properly to prevent these outbursts of hostile actions. In a researc Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Memory Loss

Type 2 Diabetes And Memory Loss

Researchers have long known that inflammation plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. This inflammation comes from substances that are produced by the body’s immune and fat cells. The result: impaired blood flow and blood vessel function— which impacts the health of the heart, kidneys and other organs and body systems. A study published in a July 2015 journal Neurology found that this reduced blood flow and blood vessel capability also affects the brain by speeding up cognitive decline and memory loss in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Measuring the Impact The researchers studied 65 men and women between the ages of 57 and 75. Thirty-five of the study participants had been treated for type 2 diabetes for more than five years at the beginning of the study. The initial assessment of all participants included testing of memory and cognitive function skills, as well as MRI scans and blood tests to determine baseline blood flow, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, and brain volume. None of the participants had any type of cognitive impairment at the time of the initial assessment. At a two-year follow-up, those with type 2 diabetes showed a significant decline in thinking and memory scores. None of the non-diabetic participants showed any decline. Blood vessel health and blood flow regulation were also seriously impaired in those with diabetes. “We ultimately concluded that diabetes-related inflammation of the small blood vessels in the brain may accelerate decline in those with type 2 diabetes,” says study author Vera Novak, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and director of Syncope and Falls in the Elderly (SAFE) laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This, in turn, affects not only their overall health but also their day- Continue reading >>

Researchers Discover How Diabetes Affects Specific Brain Area Leading To Memory Loss

Researchers Discover How Diabetes Affects Specific Brain Area Leading To Memory Loss

Badly controlled diabetes are known to affect the brain causing memory and learning problems and even an increased incidence of dementia, although how this occurs is not clear. But now a study, by researchers from the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra in Portugal, in mice with type 2 diabetes has discovered how diabetes affects a brain area called hippocampus causing memory loss, and also how caffeine can prevents it. Curiously, the neurodegeneration that the researcher Rodrigo Cunha and his team see caused by diabetes, is the same that occurs at the first stages of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, suggesting that caffeine (or drugs with similar mechanism) could help them too. Type 2 diabetes (which accounts for about 90% of all diabetic cases) is a full blown public health disaster - 285 million people already affected worldwide (6.4% of the world population) with numbers expected to almost double by 2030. And this without counting pre-diabetic individuals. The problem is that the disease is triggered by obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits (although there is also a genetic predisposition), all of which are increasingly widespread. All forms of diabetes are caused by high levels of sugar in the blood, but in type 2 this occurs because the body becomes increasingly resistant to insulin - the hormone that allows the cells to take the sugar from the blood to be use it as "fuel" - leading to toxic high levels of sugar in the blood that damage nerves and blood vessels and, with time, cause severe complications In the study out now in the journal PLoS , João Duarte, Rodrigo Cunha and colleagues take advantage of a new mouse model of diabetes type 2, which like humans develops the d Continue reading >>

Diabetic Encephalopathy

Diabetic Encephalopathy

Diabetic encephalopathy is damage to the brain caused by diabetes. A relatively unknown complication, encephalopathy is becoming more widely recognized as more people are diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic encephalopathy presents itself both mentally and physically. It can induce an altered mental state, cognitive decline, changes in personality, memory lapses, or severe impairment like dementia. The complication can also cause tremors, lack of coordination, and even seizures. Diabetic encephalopathy is largely due to acute hypoglycemia (blood sugar levels are too low) or severe hyperglycemia (blood sugar levels are too high). The condition manifests itself differently between the two major types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes Encephalopathy in those with type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. According to a 2011 study, those with type 2 diabetes were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and 1.75 times more likely to develop other forms of dementia than healthy participants. This increased risk could be due to many different factors brought about from type 2 diabetes. It could be caused by the body’s resistance to insulin, which makes it difficult for the brain to break down amyloid, a protein that forms brain plaques. Brain plaques are abnormal clusters of this protein that block cell-to-cell signaling at the synapses—a symptom infamous for contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetic encephalopathy can also be generated from hyperglycemia or the conditions that commonly accompany type 2 diabetes like high blood pressure, obesity, or high cholesterol. Oxidative stress is another provoker of the complication. This stems from an imbalance between reactive oxyge Continue reading >>

The Final Frontier: How Does Diabetes Affect The Brain?

The Final Frontier: How Does Diabetes Affect The Brain?

Our understanding of the impact of diabetes on organ function has been evolving since the discovery of insulin in the 1920s. At that time insulin was a miracle drug that appeared to cure diabetes, but over time it became clear that death and disability from diabetes complications involving the eyes, kidneys, peripheral nerves, heart, and vasculature could occur even with treatment. With the improvement in diabetes care over the past 20 years, fewer patients are developing the traditional diabetes complications. However, as people live long and well with the disease, it has become apparent that diabetes can alter function and structure in tissues not typically associated with complications such as the brain and bone. Alteration in brain structure and function are particularly of concern because of the impact of dementia and cognitive dysfunction on overall quality of life. From large epidemiological studies, it has been demonstrated that both vascular and Alzheimer's dementia are more common in patients with type 2 diabetes (1). Why this might be true has been difficult to define. Certainly these patients can be expected to have more risk factors such as previous cardiovascular disease, history of hypertension, and dyslipidemia than aged matched control subjects, but when these variables are controlled, the risk for patients with diabetes appears to be higher than that of other subject groups. Persistent hyperglycemia appears to play an important role in cerebral dysfunction. Many years ago, Reaven et al. (2) demonstrated that performance on cognitive tasks assessing learning, reasoning, and complex psychomotor performance was inversely related to glycemic control in a small population of subjects with type 2 diabetes. This issue was recently readdressed in the much larg Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Memory Loss

Diabetes And Memory Loss

Your memory can be affected in the short-term simply by your blood sugar levels being too low or too high. For example, you may find that when you’re hypoglycaemic you find it difficult to find words or to finish sentences. This isn’t necessarily the sign of a serious problem, as long as your ability to remember returns when your blood sugar levels get back to normal. Long-term memory loss Long-term memory loss becomes more common as we get older. Over 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some kind of memory difficulties, according to the NHS. However, while long-term memory issues can just be a normal part of ageing, they can also be the sign of a more serious problem. Studies show that people with diabetes are more likely to experience long-term memory loss, and there are a number of reasons for this. The first of these is that high levels of blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) can cause damage to the nerves in the brain. This means that if blood glucose levels are poorly managed over a number of years, memory loss may occur. The potential nerve damage as a result of diabetes also increases the risk of stroke. Most people who suffer a stroke will suffer cognitive impairment such as memory loss. Another potential reason for the link between diabetes and memory loss is that those with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who don’t have diabetes. Scientists are unsure exactly why this is, but again it may be linked to reduced blood flow to the brain. Good blood sugar management can greatly reduce your risk of developing long-term memory problems as a result of diabetes. However, if you do start to experience symptoms of memory loss which impact your day-to-day life, such as: • Being unable to remember what you just did � Continue reading >>

Drug And Alcohol Use With Diabetes

Drug And Alcohol Use With Diabetes

Comprehensive Guide to Research on Risk, Complications and Treatment Substance abuse is described as the excessive use of a substance such as alcohol or drugs that results in significant clinical impairments as well as the loss of ability to function academically, professionally, and socially [1]. An individual who was healthy before the substance abuse began will typically begin to experience serious health problems over time, but extensive damage may be avoided or reversed if effective substance abuse treatment is received. This is not the case, however, for individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and although this is a manageable disease with proper treatment, substance abuse may cause it to become life-threatening. This guide will discuss, in detail, how substance abuse can negatively impact the life and health of a person with diabetes. Diabetes, also referred to as diabetes mellitus, is a condition in which the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels. There are two forms known as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but in order to better understand the difference between the two types, the role that insulin plays in the regulation of healthy blood sugar levels will be briefly described. During the digestive process, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is a form of sugar that easily enters the bloodstream and is used by the body for energy. The pancreas normally responds to increasing blood sugar levels by initiating the production of the hormone known as insulin. As insulin levels increase, it signals the transfer of glucose into cells throughout the body and it also ensures that excess glucose will be stored in the liver in order to prevent high blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes, which is also called juvenile or insulin dependent Continue reading >>

Chronic Illness And Memory Loss – The Connection

Chronic Illness And Memory Loss – The Connection

Recent studies have revealed memory loss is more prevalent in people with certain chronic illnesses. For example, people with high blood sugar levels and inflammation have an increased risk of memory loss as well as those with elevated blood pressure levels. Discover more about the link between chronic illness and memory loss and what you can do about it. What is Memory Loss? Memory loss can be a normal part of aging. However, there are differences between the memory loss that occurs as you get older and the memory changes associated with chronic illnesses. Common symptoms associated with aging and memory loss are misplacing your keys, forgetting your current thought, or forgetting the name of an acquaintance. Serious symptoms of basic memory loss may include repetitive questions, an inability to follow directions, forgetting faces, getting lost while driving or walking, and forgetting common words while talking. If you have any of these symptoms you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible. Memory Loss and Diabetes A study published in the 2015 journal Neurology suggests people with high blood sugar levels could have an increased risk of memory loss. It also includes people who do not have diabetes, such as those with impaired blood flow and minimized blood vessel function. People with peripheral arterial disease or peripheral vascular disease are at increased risk of memory loss. All these conditions may originate from inflammation. People with chronic illnesses have compromised immune systems which could put them at risk for memory loss. The author of the study, Vera Novak MD, said, “We ultimately concluded that diabetes-related inflammation of the small blood vessels in the brain may accelerate decline in those with type 2 diabetes”. Past studies have Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Type 1 Diabetes On Cognitive Performance

The Effects Of Type 1 Diabetes On Cognitive Performance

Abstract OBJECTIVE—To investigate the exact nature and magnitude of cognitive impairments in patients with type 1 diabetes and the possible association with other disease variables, such as recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia and metabolic control. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—MedLine and PsycLit search engines were used to identify studies on cognitive performance in patients with type 1 diabetes. Effect sizes (Cohen’s d), which are the standardized differences between the experimental and the control group, were calculated. In the meta-analysis, a combined d value was calculated, expressing the magnitude of associations across studies. RESULTS—A total of 33 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. Compared with nondiabetic control subjects, the type 1 diabetic group demonstrated a significantly lowered performance on the following cognitive domains: intelligence (d = −0.7), speed of information processing (d = −0.3), psychomotor efficiency (d = −0.6), visual (d = −0.4) and sustained attention (d = −0.3), cognitive flexibility (d = −0.5), and visual perception (d = −0.4). Lowered cognitive performance in diabetic patients appeared to be associated with the presence of microvascular complications but not with the occurrence of severe hypoglycemic episodes or with poor metabolic control. CONCLUSIONS—In patients with type 1 diabetes, cognitive dysfunction is characterized by a slowing of mental speed and a diminished mental flexibility, whereas learning and memory are spared.The magnitude of the cognitive deficits is mild to moderate, but even mild forms of cognitive dysfunction might hamper everyday activities since they can be expected to present problems in more demanding situations. Individuals with type 1 diabetes have repeatedly Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis May Come With Brain Changes In Kids, Including Memory Loss

Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis May Come With Brain Changes In Kids, Including Memory Loss

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of the death in the United States. A new study reveals another disturbing detail. Researchers found that type 1 diabetes in children can cause brain loss, affecting memory and attention cognition. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a harmful complication of Type 1 Diabetes that can gradually alter brain matter in newly diagnosed children. "Children and adolescents diagnosed with type 1 diabetes with diabetic ketoacidosis have evidence of brain gray matter shrinkage and white matter swelling," the study's lead author Dr. Fergus Cameron, head of diabetes services at Royal Children's Hospital in Victoria, Australia, told HealthDay. The recent study includes 36 children and teens with DKA and 59 without it. MRIs were taken over the course of six months. Those with DKA experienced a decrease in gray matter volume along with swelling of white matter. There was also evidence of memory loss and reduced sustained and divided attention. Symptoms tended to develop over time, raising a big concern for parents who might not notice any differences in their child right away. "Any decrement in attention or memory in children is a concern as children are acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills all the time," Cameron said. Cameron and his team found that 20 to 30 percent of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes had DKA. According to the CDC, from 2002 to 2003, 15,000 youth in the United States were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year. "DKA still kills people, so we need to do better. We need better tools. And we need to educate doctors more on the symptoms of type 1 diabetes," Cameron said. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation reports that type 1 diabetes is on the rise. Each year, 30,000 U.S. adults and children are diagn Continue reading >>

Li Doctor Leads Study Of Type 1 Diabetes’ Effects On The Brain

Li Doctor Leads Study Of Type 1 Diabetes’ Effects On The Brain

For nearly a century, scientists have asked how diabetes affects the aging brain. Now a Long Island medical investigator — with the help of a $4.2 million grant — is beginning the hunt for answers. Dr. Alan M. Jacobson, chief research officer at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, has been awarded the money by the National Institutes of Health. He is to lead a consortium of medical centers throughout the United States and Canada with the aim of understanding how Type 1 diabetes affects the most complex organ in the known universe — the human brain. Participants will be 60 and older, ages when the risk rises for cognitive impairments, with or without diabetes. Earlier medical investigations have shown that diabetes adversely influences the brain through a telltale triad — uncontrolled blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All three are part of the condition. The team will be on the lookout for key predictors of cognitive impairments as they collect information on hundreds of people over the next five years. The research is just getting organized, Jacobson said. His game plan is to delve into every possible nuance about cognitive function under the impact of a lifelong and powerful disease, and employ imaging technology to eavesdrop on each participant’s brain. “We will be using MRI and a variety of different techniques to study brain structure, brain physiology and changes in vascular blood flow,” Jacobson said. The research will attempt to answer unresolved questions about brain shrinkage, memory loss and cognitive declines in thinking and problem-solving that can occur in some diabetics. For people with any hints of problems, Jacobson said there is a key strategy to protect the brain: controlling blood sugar — the same strategy that prote Continue reading >>

Review A Look Inside The Diabetic Brain: Contributors To Diabetes-induced Brain Aging

Review A Look Inside The Diabetic Brain: Contributors To Diabetes-induced Brain Aging

1. Introduction Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disorder of carbohydrate metabolism resulting from inadequate insulin release (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or type 1 diabetes; T1D) or insulin insensitivity (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or type 2 diabetes; T2D), both of which result in hyperglycemia if uncontrolled. T1D is believed to occur in response to an autoimmune destruction of insulin producing pancreatic β cells, whereas T2D may be triggered or worsened by a number of factors including obesity, hypertension, and other features of the metabolic syndrome. For many years it has been well accepted that diabetes often results in microvascular and macrovascular disease, leading to complications such as retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, stroke and coronary heart disease [1]. There is now evidence illustrating that both T1D and T2D can also cause complications within the central nervous system (CNS). Manifestations of diabetes-induced CNS complications may include structural alterations or brain atrophy, as well as changes in electrophysiological properties that ultimately result in deficits in cognitive performance [2]. These diabetes-induced CNS complications may be associated with or exacerbated by cardiovascular disease, including hypertension [3,4] and cerebral vascular complications [5–8]. Additional factors that may contribute to diabetes-induced cognitive impairment include disrupted insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis in the CNS [9]. Under normal circumstances glucose is the predominant metabolic fuel source of the adult brain and is transported to the CNS from the periphery via facilitative glucose transporters [10]. Since the brain can neither synthesize nor store glucose for extended periods of time, it is essential that prope Continue reading >>

Causes Of Memory Loss

Causes Of Memory Loss

Whilst most, if not all, of us will experience some degree of memory loss from time to time, if lapses in memory become common, severe or begin to cause difficulties in day to day life, it’s important to find out why. In this guide we look at some of the factors that can be commonly associated with memory loss specifically in people with diabetes. Causes of memory loss Memory loss can be brought on by a number of factors associated with diabetes, including: Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) Persistent high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease Stroke Anxiety, stress and depression Poor sleep Statins Note that these factors can vary widely in terms of their effects with some factors only linked with temporary memory problems whereas others may lead to lengthy or even permanent memory trouble. The following part of this guide will look into each of these factors in more detail in terms of how they affect memory and how memory problems can be minimised or prevented. Low blood sugar (hypoyglycemia) One of the ways in which low blood sugar can affect the body is that it can lead to temporary impairment in memory. In most cases, memory should improve back to normal soon after your levels return to normal. A 2007 study, of 1,144 patients with type 1 diabetes, that reviewed hypoglycemia as a potential factor in cognitive decline (including memory loss) found no evidence of a link between episodes of severe hypoglycemia and substantial long-term decline in cognitive function. Whilst the study found no link, it is important to note that hypoglycemia, and particularly severe hypoglycemia, should be minimised where possible to reduce the risks of other health problems such as heart disease. [182] High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) By contrast Continue reading >>

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