A recently published study funded by US National Institute of Aging, The American Diabetes Association, The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center, and the US National Center for Research Resources showed that people suffering from type 2 Diabetes could develop diminished blood flow to the brain that could eventually lead to a negative impact on thinking and memory skills. The root cause seems to be the impaired blood vessels. A link between people who had higher A1C levels in the preceding months seemed to have more blood flow problems than those with lower or normal A1C levels.
The study lasted two years and involved 40 test subjects who were an average age of 66, 21 of which were normal, healthy people and 19 suffered from type 2 Diabetes. At the beginning of the study the volunteers were given a thinking and memory test, an MRI scan to look at the blood flow to the brain, and blood tests to check their average blood sugar levels, and then repeated the tests again two years later. The results showed that those who suffered from type 2 Diabetes dipped an average of 12%, dropping their average test scores from 46 to 41 which is equivalent to knowing ten words on the first test and only eight or nine two years later. Those not suffering from type 2.
Diabetes remained at a consistent average of 55 points. Research also proved that those with type 2 Diabetes had blood flow regulation that had reduced by an average of 65% which showed that the disease is linked to reducing blood flow to the brain. Even those who had complete control over their diabetes suffered diminished blood flow.
Dr. Marc Gordon, Chief of Neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital and North Shore Long Island Jewish Health Systems, said that the medical community was aware of the decrease in brain capabilities caused by stress and inflammation impeding blood flow to the brain, noting that the average brain of a diabetic is around 5 years older than that of a healthy person, but the changes in blood vessels in response to these circumstances being the cause of the decline was a new discovery. Researchers noted that in order to fully understand the complete effects of type 2 Diabetes on blood flow to the brain, a larger study group conducted for a longer period of time would be necessary.
Type 2 Diabetes causes the body to not use insulin in an efficient manner and to eventually become unable to produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels in the body. Currently, 29 million people in the United States Suffer from diabetes.