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Research has already linked diabetes to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, possibly because diabetes contributes to the build-up of plaques in the brain and to cerebrovascular disease, which reduces the brain’s blood supply. Now a new study has implicated diabetes in the development of mild amnestic cognitive impairment, characterized by mild problems with memory and recognition.
And this mild cognitive impairment is considered to be a transitional stage on the road to Alzheimer’s. The researchers studied 918 New Yorkers over 65 years old who started out with no cognitive impairment, 23.9 percent of whom had diabetes. After the study period of 6.1 years, 334 people had developed mild cognitive impairment. The risk attributable to diabetes was 8.8 percent overall, slightly more for African-Americans and Hispanics and somewhat less for non-Hispanic whites.
JAMA Archives of Neurolog
Apr 30, 2007