Cognitive Dysfunction and Diabetes Mellitus
DIABETES MELLITUS IS a complex metabolic disease that can have devastating effects on multiple organs in the body. Diabetes is the leading cause of end stage renal disease in the United States (1) and is also a common cause of vision loss, neuropathy, and cardiovascular disease. A less addressed and not as well recognized complication of diabetes is cognitive dysfunction. Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus have been found to have cognitive deficits that can be attributed to their disease. Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia have been implicated as causes of cognitive dysfunction, and many patients fear that recurrent hypoglycemia will impair their memory over time. Although much research has been done, the pathophysiology underlying this complication is not well understood, and the most appropriate methods to diagnose, treat, and prevent cognitive dysfunction in diabetes have not yet been defined. In this article, we will review the nature of cognitive dysfunction in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, the pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction secondary to diabetes, methodologies used to assess cognitive deficits in patients with diabetes, and potential future directions of research that are needed to advance our understanding of this often overlooked complication of diabetes.
The purpose of this article is to present a comprehensive review of the literature regarding the subject of cognitive dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. To do this, we performed MEDLINE searches for such key words and terms as “diabetes mellitus,” “cognitive fun Continue reading