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Diabetes May Cause Cognitive Dysfunction

Apart from obesity, heart attack and other complications, a group of Boston-based researchers warned elderly diabetics of possible development of cognitive dysfunction. They advised diabetics in older age brackets to undergo screenings to test early stages of intellectual impairment which is detrimental to “one’s ability to self-manage”.

In proving the link between cognitive dysfunction and diabetes among the elderly, researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center used Mini Mental State Examination, drawing tests and other tests to measure functional disability and depression.

The report employed 60 elderly diabetics who are all beyond 70 years old and have had diabetes for the past 14 years in average. The subjects had high levels of hemoglobin A1C, translating to poorly managed blood sugar, with an average of 7.9 percent, higher than the 7.0 percent recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

Although there’s no proven link between blood sugar control and depression, the study revealed an existing correlation between blood sugar control and cognitive dysfunction. Out of 60 elderly dia-betics, 33 percent performed poorly in drawing tests and were found to have difficulty doing daily tasks.

Poor blood sugar control among elderly diabetics is also linked to functional disabilities in the form of hearing and vision impairments.

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