New research indicates that people with type 2 diabetes may lose more brain volume than is expected as they age.
Surprisingly, this shrinkage doesn’t appear to be linked to the damaging effect of diabetes on tiny blood vessels in the brain, but how the brain handles excess sugar, the researchers noted.
“We have known for a long time that diabetes is bad for the brain,” said lead researcher Dr. R. Nick Bryan, a professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perleman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of stroke and dementia, he said. Until now, doctors have thought these risks were related to blood vessel damage related to diabetes.
“But our study suggests that there is additional damage to the brain which may be more like a brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease,” Bryan said. “So there may be two ways diabetes affects the brain, damage to blood vessels and brain-cell degeneration.”
The brain shrinkage seen in this study may be linked with the way sugar is used by the brain, Bryan said.
“It is important that patients understand the adverse effect of the disease on their brains and cooperate with their health practitioners who should treat their diabetes.
Bryan cautioned, however, that what isn’t known from this study is if treating diabetes will prevent or slow brain shrinkage.
They found that the longer a patient had the disease, the more brain volume loss occurred, particularly in the gray matter. Gray matter includes areas of the brain involved in muscle control, seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making and self-control.
In fact, for every 10 years a person has diabetes, it seemed as if the brain was about two years older than the brain of someone without diabetes, according to Bryan.
It’s important to note that this study only found an association between type 2 diabetes and greater and faster brain volume loss, and it wasn’t able to prove that type 2 diabetes was the cause of the brain shrinkage.
The report was published in the April 29 online edition of Radiology.
This study suggests that chronic high levels of insulin and sugar may be directly toxic to brain cells, he said. “This would definitely be a potential cause of dementia.”
“Diabetes over time also affects the brain, and can lead to thinking and memory problems like Alzheimer’s disease. We need to control diabetes as soon as possible so that patients don’t have brain problems.”
You can easily control and even reverse type 2 diabetes if you are disciplined regarding diet and exercise. Follow the program as stipulated in the free Manna Diabetes e-book or the Manna Diet and take the Manna Blood Sugar Support supplement with each meal. This supplement can help to reduce the glycemic index of the food you eat by up to 43%, thus it can help to successfully control blood sugar levels which lead to lower insulin levels.