As if you needed another reason to watch your diet, exercise routine, and engage with heart disease support groups, a new study conducted by Wake Forest Baptist has demonstrated that people living with type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease are more likely to rapidly loose cognitive functions compared to others. Lead author of the study, Dr. Christina E. Hugenschmidt, Wake Forest Baptist’s gerontology and geriatric instructor has stated that the results collected from Diabetes Heart Study-Mind (HS-MIND) proposes that cardiovascular disease plays an integral role in cognitive problems and deterioration, before it makes itself clinically appreciable in patients. The research has been published online (before print) in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications.
"There has been a lot of research looking at the links between type 2 diabetes and increased risk for dementia, but this is the first study to look specifically at subclinical Cardiovascular disease and the role it plays," Hugenschmidt commented. "Our research shows that Cardiovascular disease risk caused by diabetes even before it's at a clinically treatable level might be bad for your brain. The results imply that additional Cardiovascular disease factors, especially calcified plaque and vascular status, and not diabetes status alone, are major contributors to type 2 diabetes related cognitive decline."
The DHS-Mind study is a follow up to diabetes heart study, which investigated the relationship between cognitive functions, vascular calcified plague and additional diabetes risk factors.
“One possibility is that your brain requires a really steady blood flow and it's possible that the cardiovascular disease that accompanies diabetes might be the main driver behind the cognitive deficits that we see," proposed Dr. Hugenschmidt.