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Cognitive dysfunctions in individuals with diabetes mellitus

Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine 2019년 36권 3호 p.183 ~ 191
 ( Kim Hye-Geum ) - Yeungnam University College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry


Some patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) present with cognitive dysfunctions. The pathophysiology underlying this complication is not well understood. Type 1 DM has been associated with a decrease in the speed of information processing, psychomotor efficiency, attention, mental flexibility, and visual perception. Longitudinal epidemiological studies of type 1 DM have indicated that chronic hyperglycemia and microvascular disease, rather than repeated severe hypoglycemia, are associated with the pathogenesis of DM-related cognitive dysfunction. However, severe hypoglycemic episodes may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in high-risk patients with DM. Type 2 DM has been associated with memory deficits, decreased psychomotor speed, and reduced frontal lobe/executive function. In type 2 DM, chronic hyperglycemia, long duration of DM, presence of vascular risk factors (e.g., hypertension and obesity), and microvascular and macrovascular complications are associated with the increased risk of developing cognitive dysfunction. The pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction in individuals with DM include the following: (1) role of hyperglycemia, (2) role of vascular disease, (3) role of hypoglycemia, and (4) role of insulin resistance and amyloid. Recently, some investigators have proposed that type 3 DM is correlated to sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. The molecular and biochemical consequences of insulin and insulin-like growth factor resistance in the brain compromise neuronal survival, energy production, gene expression, plasticity, and white matter integrity. If patients claim that their performance is worsening or if they ask about the effects of DM on functioning, screening and assessment are recommended.


Alzheimer’s disease; Cognition; Dementia; Diabetes
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