A recent study conducted by the Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan suggests that persons suffering from diabetes are more likely to experience various forms of dementia as they age than non-diabetics. The risk is believed to be significantly higher for the diabetic population than the odds a normal person has of developing age-related dementia.
The study, which was published in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, pointed out that diabetes was found to be the common disorder for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia, etc.
As the number of persons ailing with Type 2 diabetes has exploded the world over, it has become especially important to control the condition now than ever before. Diabetics were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia as their brain cells are deprived of oxygen thus damaging brain cells. (1)
The study which was supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, took into its purview more than 1000 people over the age of 60 and studied them for 11 years. The study found that people with diabetes were twice as likely to develop dementia as people with normal blood sugar levels.
In the group of over 1017 persons, 150 persons had diabetes and 41 of the diabetics went on to develop dementia -- that is one in every three diabetic got some form of dementia. In comparison, 115 of the 559 people without diabetes developed dementia, working out to one in every four persons. (2)
Corrections were made to reduce margins of error taking into account factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, etc. Despite the corrections, results were found to be the same.
Interestingly, it was observed that the risk of dementia was also higher in people who did not have diabetes, but had impaired glucose tolerance, or "pre-diabetes." Additionally, the risk of developing dementia was significantly higher even in those participants whose blood sugar readings were high two hours after a meal.