Cognition Problems Linked to Physical Ills

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 7 (UPI) — People with diabetes and high blood pressure who walk slowly or lose balance or say they’re in bad health may have cognition issues, Canadian researchers say.

Roger Dixon of the University of Alberta in Edmonton says the presence of those physical signs in patients can warn doctors the patients are more likely than others to have weaker memory and slower, more rigid cognitive function.


The study, published in Neuropsychology, says the relationships were linear. For example, the worse a patient’s balance, the higher the likelihood of cognitive problems, as measured by mental speed and other measures.

“Awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease — and to motivate them to do so,” Dixon says in a statement.

Dixon and colleagues studied older Canadians living in British Columbia — 41 with type 2 diabetes, ages 55-81, and 458 matched healthy controls ages 53-90.

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