Study reveals enhancing blood sugar control boosts brain health for people with type 2 diabetes
According to the findings of a new study, controlling blood sugar levels improved the ability to clearly think, learn and remember among people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight.
Washington: According to the findings of a new study, controlling blood sugar levels improved the ability to clearly think, learn and remember among people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight.
But losing weight, especially for people who were obese, and increasing physical activity produced mixed results.
"It's important to properly control your blood sugar to avoid the bad brain effects of your diabetes," said Owen Carmichael, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Biomedical Imaging at Pennington Biomedical Research Center."Don't think you can simply let yourself get all the way to the obese range, lose some of the weight, and everything in the brain is fine. The brain might have already turned a corner that it can't turn back from," added Carmichael.
The new paper examined close to 1,100 participants in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health In Diabetes) study. One group of participants was invited to three sessions each year that focused on diet, physical activity, and social support.
The other group changed their diet and physical activity through a program designed to help them lose more than 7 per cent of their body weight in a year and maintain that weight loss. Cognitive tests - tests of thinking, learning, and remembering - were given to participants between 8 to 13 years after they started the study.
The research team theorised that people with greater improvements in blood sugar levels, physical activity and weight loss would have better cognitive test scores.
This hypothesis proved partially true. Reducing your blood sugar levels did improve test scores. But losing more weight and exercising more did not always raise cognitive test scores.
Finding a way to offset the health effects of type 2 diabetes is vital. More than 25 per cent of U.S. adults 65 or older have type 2 diabetes. The disease doubles the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and greatly increases health care needs and costs. (ANI)