Diabetes link to cognitive deficit

Type-2 diabetes is related to impaired decision-making and cognitive speed in older people, a Canadian study suggests.

Sophie Yeung and colleagues from the University of Alberta studied 41 men and women with type-2 diabetes aged 53-90 years old and compared them with 424 controls of the same age. The average age of those included was 68 years.

The researchers assessed memory for events, words and verbal fluency, as well as decision-making abilities and cognitive speed.

The performance of people with and without diabetes did not differ on tests of memory or verbal fluency. However, on decision-making and cognitive speed tasks, participants with diabetes performed worse.

'Given the modern western lifestyle, associated health risks and growing populations of older adults, type-2 diabetes will likely increase as a common ageing-related challenge to neurobiological and cognitive health,' the researchers said.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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