UK College of Public Health study links diabetes to poor blood flow in the brain, but not to Alzheimer’s disease

Diabetes has been linked to cerebrovascular disease, a cognitive disorder that restricts blood flow to the brain, according to a study at the University of Kentucky. Though cerebrovascular disease “is associated with stroke and ruptures that cause brain damage,” the study shows that patients diagnosed with diabetes can also develop the disease.

While the study seems to settle the dispute about diabetes’ linkage to the disease, researchers say it found “no significant correlation.” to Alzheimer’s disease, something prior research had indicated. Researchers collected samples from over 2,300 autopsied human subjects with and without diabetes.

Dr. Erin Abner, an associate professor in the UK College of Public Health, was a lead investigator in the study. Abner says the research could help prevent cerebrovascular disease in patients diagnosed with diabetes.

“While diabetes is without question both a major public health issue and a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia, our study suggests that cognitive dysfunction related to diabetes is likely to be preventable and underscores the idea that heart health is brain health,” she said.

There is no clear answer why diabetes can cause cerebrovascular disease, but researchers “suspect this process involves many factors, including insulin resistance, hypertension and abdominal obesity,” the release said.

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