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Cognitive impairment in diabetes patients

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Dementia is one of the most common and devastating diseases of later life. In the UK, 822,000 people live with dementia and this is set to rise to 1.2 million by 2025.1 People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at an increased risk of developing dementia. The proportion of those with MCI who go on to develop dementia ranges from 1-25 per cent.2

Diabetes mellitus is associated with cognitive dysfunction; over a four-year follow-up period, people with MCI and diabetes were three times more likely to develop dementia than those with MCI alone.3 Poor glycaemic control and long-term episodes of hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia may lead to microangiopathy, neuronal loss and cognitive impairment.4

Onset of diabetes

MCI is associated with the onset of diabetes before the age of 65 years, diabetes with a duration of 10 years or longer, insulin treatment, and the presence of diabetic complications found that. Individuals with diabetic retinopathy were twice as likely to have MCI, thus supporting the theory that diabetes-related damage to blood vessels in the brain may contribute to the development of cognitive problems.5

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