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High levels of cortisol may lead to memory loss in diabetics

22 February 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Diabetes testerA new study shows that stress and tension increase the risk of memory loss in the case of people suffering from diabetes. Researchers from Edinburgh University led by Dr. Rebecca Reynolds discovered that high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, can have this effect.

The conclusion emerged from a study conducted on more than 1000 man and women aged between 60 and 75, all suffering from type 2 diabetes – the most common form of diabetes. Volunteers were taken blood samples to measure the levels of cortisol and also took several cognitive tests.  It’s been observed that those with a high level of cortisol in their blood were more prone to experience cognitive decline.

“We know that type 2 diabetes is linked to problems with memory, but the reason behind this is unclear. This study shows that older people with diabetes who have higher levels of stress hormones in their blood are more likely to have experienced cognitive decline. It may be that by regulating cortisol levels, we could help improve cognitive decline in patients with type 2 diabetes.” said dr. Rebecca Reynolds.

Beside memory problems, diabetes can lead to other complications including eight loss and even amputation. Unfortunately statistics show that the number of people suffering from diabetes will rise rapidly in coming decades, in part because of the obesity crisis.

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