Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P240

Cognitive dysfunction in diabetics: can we predict it, can we protect them?

Marek Derkacz & Krzysztof Marczewski


John Paul II Hospital, Zamosc, Poland.


The aim of this work was to estimate chosen cognitive functions in diabetics and to investigate possible correlations between cognitive abilities and chosen clinical and biochemical parameters.

The research was conducted among 122 patients with diabetes type 1 or 2 and 140 clinical healthy people. Cognitive tests such as MMSE test, Clock Drawing Test, Trial Making Test were applied.

In almost 40% of examined diabetics, the significant but mild cognitive impairment was noticed. Cognitive functions impairment and dementia were only observed in people over 50 and were more likely to occure in patients with diabetes type 2. It seems, that diabetes can mostly influence visuo-spatial functions, attention, psychomotor velocity and recent memory. The better results in people with good metabolic control suggest that deficits in cognitive functions are strongly associated with degree of metabolic control such as HbA1c (P=0.012468), total cholesterol (P=0.029565), HDL (P=0.022713) and LDL (P=0.038056). The significant impact on cognitive deterioration had a period from stating the diagnosis (P<0.000001), presence of chronic complications (P<0.000001) and the social and demographic factors like education (P<0.000001). Protective effect of the longer period of education, young age and place of living was stated. Cognitive impairments were more likely to occur in patients living in the country but the young age of patients (P<0.000001) was a protective factor. The relationship between cognitive function quality and BMI (P=0.004118) was confirmed, but it was determined more by the height (P=0.00019) than weight of examined patients (P=0.632958).

It is supposed that in diabetic patients over 50, there is a need to estimate their cognitive abilities and taking into consideration eventual dysfunctions in the plan of treatment and education.

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