Women with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and possibly Alzheimer's disease, says a new study in the Archives of Neurology.
The study found that diabetes was related to a significantly higher risk of mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment - particularly a type known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment, which affects memory significantly - is increasingly recognized as a transitional state between normal functioning and Alzheimer's disease. "Among cardiovascular risk factors, type 2 diabetes mellitus has been consistently related to a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease," the researchers note.
For the sample of patients in the study, the researchers found that diabetes increased the risk of mild cognitive impairment by 9 percent. The researchers speculate that diabetes could be related to a higher risk for amnestic mild cognitive impairment by directly affecting the build-up of plaques in the brain, a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.
"Our results provide further support to the potentially important independent role of diabetes in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease," the study concludes.
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Source: Archives of Neurology