Diabetes Prevention in Midlife Helps Protect Aging Brain

Posted on December 5, 2014

Photo: flickr

Want to ward off memory issues and other cognitive problems as you age? Looks like low blood glucose levels are an important factor. New research finds that individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in middle age had greater cognitive impairment in the following decades than their nondiabetic counterparts.

In fact, poorly managed diabetes appears to age the brain roughly five years faster than normal. That means a 55-year-old with diabetes has cognitive decline on par with a healthy 60-year-old. And the problems accumulate: over 20 years, diabetes in midlife is associated with a 19 percent decrease in mental function. Cognitive decline is considered a precursor to dementia. The findings are in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. [Andreea M. Rawlings et al, Diabetes in Midlife and Cognitive Change Over 20 Years: A Cohort Study]

A team from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health followed some 6,000 study subjects in Maryland, North Carolina, Minnesota and Mississippi from 1987 through 2013. The researchers used accepted tests to evaluate the participants' cognitive performance. And the people with low blood sugar levels outperformed those with midlife diabetes or pre-diabetes.

The researchers' conclusion: better weight control, exercise and a healthful diet could really help keep both body-and mind-fit over the long haul.

—Dina Fine Maron

To hear the live podcast, visit the link


Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from Scientific American


Mental Health News

  • Music Therapy treats combat-related psychological injuries

    newsthumbMusic Therapy plays an important role in military healthcare, it is being used more and more often to tackle combat-related injuries. As the benefits ...

  • Causes of Eating Disorders

    newsthumbPeople who have low self-esteem or often doubt and feel nervous about themselves, have a high possibility of developing eating disorders. This group ...

  • Frustrations and Nightmares

    newsthumbFrustration can lead to a higher chance of having repeated nightmares. This sense of frustration that is usually caused by the lack of freedom and ...