Cognitive Decline and Dementia Risk in Type 2 Diabetes

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Liesel-Ann Meusel1, PhD, Ekaterina Tchistiakova2,3, BSc, William Yuen4,5, BSc, Bradley J Macintosh2,3, PhD, Nicole D Anderson1,6, PhD, and Carol E Greenwood4,5, PhD
1Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre, Toronto, ON. 2HSF Centre for Stroke Recovery, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON. 3Department of Medical Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
4Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied and Evaluative Research Unit, Baycrest Centre, Toronto, ON. 5Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON. 6Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasingly common, and previously unrecognized complications are emerging; namely, cognitive impairment and dementia. The mechanisms that link these factors together are still unknown, but likely result from the interplay of several variables, including vascular change, poor glycemic control, inflammation, and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal overactivity. At present, it is still too early to propose best practices related to the management of diabetes-induced cognitive change. All things considered, however, patients should be aware that proper management of metabolic and vascular complications may minimize the adverse effects of type 2 diabetes on cognitive function and quality of life.
Keywords: type 2 diabetes, cognition, dementia, vascular, metabolic