Type 2 diabetes linked to worse cognitive performance in elderly

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Núria Mallorquí-Bagué et al

What was the goal of your research or experiment?

This study aimed to specify the association between the presence of type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline in older individuals in a situation of overweight or obesity and high cardiovascular risk.

How did you measure or test this?

A total of 6823 participants were assessed with a thorough battery of cognitive tests and a medical interview. This sample comes from the PREDIMED-PLUS study: a 6-year multicenter, randomized, primary prevention clinical trial conducted in Spain to assess the effect of an intensive weight loss intervention program based on an energy-restricted traditional Mediterranean diet, physical activity promotion and behavioural support.

What were the main results or findings?

We found that individuals with type 2 diabetes performed less well on tasks that require executive functions, compared to non-diabetic individuals. An example of such a task is that you have to list as many words as possible that start with the letter “P”. If you can name a lot, you have good executive functions. A second findings is that longer type 2 diabetes duration was associated with worse performance in executive function. And third, we observed that in addition to type 2 diabetes, also high BMI and depressive symptoms had a direct negative effect on executive function.

What does this mean?

This study, which integrates relevant neuropsychological and physical variables in type 2 diabetes, suggests the importance of implementing cognitive decline prevention strategies in order to palliate the negative effects of diabetes. Moreover, it would be needed to closely monitor depressive symptoms and weight once type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed.

What is the next step?

Our future aim is to assess if, in this diabetic population, cognitive decline might be improved through an intensive weight loss intervention program based on an energy-restricted traditional Mediterranean diet, physical activity promotion and behavioural support. We’re already collecting this data, so we hope to soon be able to answer this question.

Publication information

Title: Type 2 diabetes and cognitive impairment in an older population with overweight or obesity and metabolic syndrome: baseline cross-sectional analysis of the PREDIMED-plus study

Authors: Núria Mallorquí-Bagué, María Lozano-Madrid, EstefaníaToledo, DoloresCorella, Jordi Salas-Salvadó , AidaCuenca-Royo, JesúsVioque, Dora Romaguera, J.Alfredo Martínez, JuliaWärnberg José López-Miranda, Ramón Estruch, AuroraBueno-Cavanillas, ÁngelAlonso-Gómez, JosepA.Tur, FranciscoJ.Tinahones, Lluís Serra-Majem, Vicente Martín, José Lapetra, ClotildeVázquez, Xavier Pintó, JosepVidal, Lidia Daimiel, José J.Gaforio, Pilar Matía, Emilio Ros, RoserGranero, Pilar Buil-Cosiales, Rocío Barragán, Mònica Bulló, Olga Castañer, ManoliGarcía-de-la-Hera, Aina M.Yáñez ItziarAbete, AntonioGarcía-Ríos, Miguel Ruiz-Canela, Andrés Díaz-López, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, MiguelA. Martínez-González, Rafael De laTorre, & Fernando Fernández-Aranda

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2018

Url: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30382190/