Type 2 diabetes has been linked with an increased risk of cognitive dysfunction and dementia, but the underlying mechanisms are uncertain.
In a new study, imaging tests revealed that changes in white matter regions of the brain are linked to decreased processing speed (the time it takes a person to do a mental task) in people with Type 2 diabetes.
The white matter changes showed signs of small vessel disease.
Also, higher blood pressure and worse kidney function were related to worse cognition.
The findings suggest that blood vessels in the brain may be involved in the mechanisms that lead to cognitive decline in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.
“Cognitive dysfunction is an emerging target of complications of diabetes mellitus, and we believe that our results provide some clue into the mechanisms behind its development,” said the paper.
The lead author is Dr. Boris Mankovsky from the National Medical Academy for Postgraduate Education, in Kiev, Ukraine.
The study is published in Diabetic Medicine.