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Type 2 diabetes increases risk for dementia



Cardiovascular disease may affect the brains of diabetes patients long before they realize they have it, U.S. researchers say.

Christina Hugenschmidt of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., analyzed data on 516 people with diabetes. She checked data on hearts and blood vessels for sub-clinical signs of damage, but with no noticeable symptoms. Hugenschmidt also examined results of tests that gauge thinking ability.

"People with higher levels of sub-clinical cardiovascular disease had lower scores on several different kinds of thinking tests," Hugenschmidt said in a statement.

She said the results indicated the effects of diabetes on blood vessels impact the brain's functioning ability.

"There has been a lot of research looking at the links between type 2 diabetes and increased risk for dementia, but this is the first study to look specifically at sub-clinical cardiovascular disease and the role it plays," Hugenschmidt said. "Our research shows cardiovascular disease risk caused by diabetes even before it's at a clinically treatable level might be bad for your brain."

The study was published at the Journal of Diabetes.

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