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The number of African-Americans with diabetes has skyrocketed over the past two decades, and what researchers are still learning about the disease, and its impact, is stunning. According to new research, published by the New York Times, diabetes impacts the brain as well as the body:
…..elderly men and women with diabetes — primarily Type 2, the form of the disease related to obesity and inactivity — had greater drops in cognitive test scores than other people of a similar age. The more poorly managed their disease, the greater the deterioration in mental function. And the declines were seen not just in those with advanced diabetes. The researchers found that people who did not have diabetes at the start of the study but developed it later on also deteriorated to a greater extent than those without the disease.
“What we’ve shown is a clear association with diabetes and cognitive aging in terms of the slope and the rate of decline on these cognitive tests,” said Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. “That’s very powerful.”
Researchers aren’t clear as to why there’s a correlation between memory loss and diabetes, but the fact that the two are related is evident.