Insulin resistance linked to cognitive decline

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Executive function and memory may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of insulin resistance, finds a new study.

Findings from a new study, published in the  Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease , suggest insulin resistance (IR) is associated with more rapid decline in cognitive performance among patients with cardiovascular disease, with and without diabetes.

Almost 500 patients were included in the study, with follow-up at 15 and 20 years. Individuals who placed in the top quarter of the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index were at an increased risk for poor cognitive performance and accelerated cognitive decline compared to those in the remaining three-quarters of the HOMA index.

The authors say the findings provide support for more research to test the cognitive benefits of interventions such as exercise, diet and medications that improve IR.

“These are exciting findings because they may help to identify a group of individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older age,” said author, Prof. David Tanne of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine. “We know that insulin resistance can be prevented and treated by lifestyle changes and certain insulin-sensitising drugs.”

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