, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 1593-1595
Date: 16 Apr 2011

Diabetes and cognitive performance: a story that is still unfolding

This is an excerpt from the content

One question voiced by patients and clinicians is whether diabetes could lead to brain damage and cognitive dysfunction. Careful systematic studies are extremely important to ascertain the nature and extent of these central nervous system complications.

Macrovascular disease, when it results in a stroke, can clearly cause cognitive dysfunction. Traditional diabetes-related risk factors, such as hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia and hypertension, in the absence of a stroke, also may be associated with modest changes in cognitive performance, especially in domains of psychomotor efficiency and executive function [1, 2]. Recurrent, severe hypoglycaemia is the risk factor that has drawn the most attention in research to date. While findings from the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study (EDIC) may allay concerns about the impact of recurrent, severe hypoglycaemic events among adults and adolescents with type 1 diabetes