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Diabetes+Depression Leads to Dementia: Study

People with cognitive impairment are at higher risk of developing dementia if they have diabetes coupled with depression, says a new study.

Known as Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), it occurs in aging people before dementia which makes them forget events where someone’s mind is functioning less well than would be expected for their age.

Dementia affects 19 percent of people aged 65 and more and 46 percent of people with MCI develop dementia within 3 years compared with 3 percent of the general adults.

The reserchers at University of California, (UCL) analysed data from 62 separate studies, following a total of 15,950 people diagnosed with MCI and found that those with MCI besides diabetes were 65 percent more likely to face dementia.

“There are strong links between mental and physical health, so keeping your body healthy can also help to keep your brain working properly,” explains lead author Claudia Cooper of UCL.

Consuming a diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in meat and saturated fats will be helpful to stem the situation from progressing faster, the researchers suggest.

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, says the study underlines two key guidelines. Firstly, the impact of medical and psychiatric co-morbidities in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.

Secondly, the importance and therapeutic potential of early intervention in the prevention of dementia.
“Confirming these findings and incorporating appropriate preventative strategies could play an important part in lessening the ever-increasing societal burden of dementia in our ageing population,” says Prof. Thompson.

The findings have been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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