After 40 months, the ACCORD trial reported in the Lancet Neurology that lowering of a diabetic’s blood sugar 7-7.5% did not lead to cognitive decline. It does, however, lead to reduction of the risk of kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and eye problems.
The study worked with 3,000 diabetic patients to see if cognitive and memory decline could be avoided if the control changed to 6% and the rate of impairment is slower. Earlier studies had indicated blood sugar level reduction between 7-7.5% indicated progress.
Older type-2 diabetes patients are at greater risk of cognitive impairment than their non-diabetic counterpart. They also are at a higher risk of brain atrophy. Control of the insulin levels is key to normal brain performance, and reduced levels of insulin could contribute to dementia progression, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Smaller brain volume is linked to cognitive decline. Patients involved in the group undergoing intensive treatment showed a more significant mean brain volume than those undergoing the standard treatment in the study, but in all cases there was no decline in cognitive function.
Neuroscientists not involved in this study suggest that, while the results of this study do not recommend any specific treatment, the absence of mental decline does not prove conclusively that treatment can delay dementia. There is still more research needed to identify the best treatment to bring about optimal brain health.
A separate study, conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center, proves that blood sugar spikes take their toll on memory by affecting the dentate gyrus, an area of the brain within the hippocampus that helps form memories. “The ability to regulate glucose starts deteriorating by the third or fourth decade of life,” says lead investigator Dr. Scott Small, associate professor of neurology at Columbia. “If we conclude this is underlying normal age-related cognitive decline, then it affects all of us,” he added.
Researchers said the effects can be seen even when levels of blood sugar, or glucose, are only moderately elevated, a finding that may help explain normal age-related cognitive decline, since glucose regulation worsens with age.
This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion , memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker. Control of diabetes and blood sugar will allow your brain to develop more synapse that will keep it in good memory order. Add memory training to that and you are well on your way to improve your memory!
MemoryZine.com – Diabetics’ Cognitive Decline Not Slowed With Intensive Blood Sugar Control: http://memoryzine.com
New York Times — Blood Sugar Control Linked to Memory Decline, Study Shows: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/01/health/31memory.html