Diabetes is often termed a silent killer and the reasons are not difficult to guess. Almost all major organs of the body get affected by the disease. A recent study has found that Type II Diabetes can age the brain up to two years for every 10 years a person suffers from the disease. It is for the first time that Type II diabetes has been linked to a change in size of brain. The study also dispelled a myth that diabetes may be associated with small vessel ischemic disease as a result of which the brain does not receive enough oxygenated blood. Researchers have found that for every 10 years a patient has diabetes, the brains ages 2 years more as compared to a normal person.
The American Diabetes association estimates that there are 26 million people in the US who suffer from Diabetes and each year 1.9 million new patients are added. The Type II is the most common form of Diabetes where the Pancreas does not produce adequate Insulin or the cells ignores the Insulin produced.
Lead author of the study R. Nick Bryan, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at the Perleman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania ‘we found that patients having more severe diabetes had less brain tissue, suggesting brain atrophy,’
There has been a big spurt in Diabetes patients in recent times and the need to better understand the disease and its management becomes even more important.
Dr. Bryan and his team used MRI or magnetic resonance imaging to ascertain if there is any link between the magnitude and duration of Diabetes Type II and the brain structure. 614 subjects with a mean age of 62 years were chosen. The length of the study was 9.9 years. The aim of the study was to ascertain if severe diabetes was inversely correlated with brain volumes and positively correlated with ischemic lesion volumes.
The new research indicates that people with Type 2 diabetes may lose more brain volume than is expected as they age