New research suggests that type 2 diabetes may trigger language problems that can associate with early dementia
New evidence links diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease in women. Tests could not determine why the same effect was not observed with the same prevalence for men too.
New Finnish study showed association between insulin resistance (a typical, connected finding for type 2 diabetes) and low verbal fluency and cognitive disease in dementia, in some women. Lately, gender and Alzheimer’s disease developing has been a very interesting topic in research all over world. Not all diabetic women will experience cognitive difficulties later in life, but a high incidence of dementia has been linked to higher insulin resistance levels in women. The study was an observational one, that could not prove the cause-and-effect of the phenomenon, authors explain. Further studies will try to explain the exact triggering mechanism behind these observations.
Nevertheless, considering that women are twice as likely prone to Alzheimer’s, the study data results may prove to be very useful in future approach of preventing cognitive difficulties.
6.000 people in Finnland have participated in the research. Their brain health has been tested. The tests included verbal fluency measurements. “Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease typically starts with episodic memory decline. However, verbal fluency is a measure of executive function, and also deficits in executive function can be found early in the disease,” said study author Dr. Laura Ekblad, a researcher at the University of Turku.
Insulin resistance as well as high risk Alzheimer’s disease gene (APOE-E4) have also been assessed in study participants. Results showed that people with higher levels of insulin resistance scored less in the verbal fluency tests. “Poorer scores could be noticeable in difficulties or slowness in trying to name several objects of the same kind,” Dr. Ekblad declared. Surprisingly, the association between high insulin resistance levels and the existence of the APOE-E4 gene did not decreased test scores, study found.
Study does not explain how these changes in the brain occur, but scientists hope that future research will answer the questions that the new findings raise. “It would be nice to have this information confirmed in multiple groups. Seeing what happens in other patients would be very helpful. Are these findings due to vascular problems? Other problems? It’s hard to know from one study. We’re early in the science” Dr. Mark Stecker, chairman of the department of neurosciences at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., also agreed.
Regardless study results, considering all the facts from a medical point of view, it has been generally accepted that the better the overall health is, the better the cognition and the long-term mental health. Life-style factors, such us diet, exercise, environment, healthy or unhealthy habits, can have a very big influence on brain health, also by lowering or increasing the risk of other health connected serious conditions such as diabetes and obesity.