J Korean Diabetes.  2019 Jun;20(2):67-73. 10.4093/jkd.2019.20.2.67.

Connections between Diabetes and Cognitive Dysfunction

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. hwanx2@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

Dementia, a clinical syndrome affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities primarily caused by neurodegeneration, is becoming one of the greatest health and socioeconomic burdens in the aging society. The age-standardized prevalence of dementia for people aged 60 or older was 5% to 7% in most world regions, affecting 47 million people in 2015. This number is expected to almost double every 20 years. Although aging is the greatest but non-modifiable risk factor, approximately 35% of the risk has been attributed to the combination of potentially modifiable risk factors including education, diet and lifestyle factors, psychiatric factors, and metabolic factors. There is ample evidence that people with glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome are at higher risk for cognitive impairment and dementia compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Meta-analyses and large-scaled pooled analyses demonstrate that diabetes is associated with an approximately 60% to 70% increased risk of all types of dementia. In this article, the associations of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and glucose variability with cognitive dysfunction and dementia are demonstrated. Also, the underlying mechanism of this connection and possible effects of anti-diabetic medications are discussed.

Keyword

Cognitive dysfunction; Dementia; Diabetes mellitus

MeSH Terms

Aging
Cognition Disorders
Dementia
Diabetes Mellitus
Diet
Education
Glucose
Glucose Intolerance
Hyperglycemia
Hypoglycemia
Insulin Resistance
Life Style
Memory
Prevalence
Risk Factors
Social Skills
Thinking
Glucose
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