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Diabetes May Slow Mental Function

Are you experiencing a slowdown each time you are about to say something? Each time you have to remember a particular incident? Beware, it might be diabetes. In an analysis, adults diagnosed with diabetes have a slowdown in mental processing.

This was revealed after researchers examined a cross-section of adults with and without adult-onset type 2 diabetes. It was followed by a Victoria Longitudinal Study and after three long years, they tracked three independent samples of initially healthy older adults to record discrepancies in their biomedical, health, cognitive, and neurocognitive aspects of aging.

The study by researchers from Canada’s University of Alberta involved 41 adults with diabetes and 424 adults without diabetes, between ages 53 and 90. The diabetes group had normal reaction times and normal perceptual speed but was slower on tasks requiring rapid and precise processing of new verbal information. The defects involved speed and not verbal fluency. The good news is the performance gap did not worsen with age. This suggests that the reduction in main function and speed of mental process begins earlier in the disease.

According to coauthor Roger Dixon, PhD, the normal age at which our mental processes would slow down could be intensified by diseases like type 2 diabetes. “In proper management and early treatment these declines would be avoided,” he said.

Admittedly, the findings in the said study are not clinically significant, however, researchers claim that these could foreshadow additional deficits.

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