Enhancing blood sugar control boosts brain health in diabetic patients

Controlling blood sugar levels improved the ability to clearly think, learn and remember among people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight, say researchers.

“It’s important to properly control your blood sugar to avoid the bad brain effects of your diabetes,” said study author Owen Carmichael from the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in the US.

“The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolis, examined close to 1,100 participants in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health In Diabetes) study. One group of participants was invited to three sessions each year that focused on diet, physical activity, and social support. The other group changed their diet and physical activity through a program designed to help them lose more than seven percent of their body weight in a year and maintain that weight loss.

Cognitive tests – tests of thinking, learning, and remembering – were given to participants between 8 to 13 years after they started the study.The research team theorised that people with greater improvements in blood sugar levels, physical activity and weight loss would have better cognitive test scores.