New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) shows that in older people living in the community, type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with a decline in verbal memory and fluency over 5 years.
However, contrary to the previous studies, the decrease in brain volume often found in older people with T2D was not found to be directly associated with cognitive decline during this time period. Yet compared with people without T2D, those with T2D had evidence of greater brain atrophy at the beginning of the study.
Previous research has shown that T2D can double the risk of dementia in older people. Although people with diabetes had evidence of greater brain atrophy at the start of the study, there was no difference in the rate of brain atrophy between those with and without diabetes over the time course in this study.
There was also no evidence in the study that the rate of brain atrophy directly impacted on the diabetes-cognition relationship.