Type 2 Diabetes Could Shrink the Brain

Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Could Suffer Brain “Aging”

type 2 diabetesPatients with Type 2 diabetes could be more prone to brain degeneration, according to a study recently published in the medical journal, Radiology.

While patients with Type 2 diabetes are generally known to have memory problems, doctors originally believed that the issue was related to blocked blood vessels, which meant less oxygen for the brain. Now, a group of researchers has found that patients with Type 2 diabetes actually suffer from brain shrinkage, which means the brain loses cells, which could lead to Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia.

The study involved 600 people aged 55 or older, who had Type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that patients who had Type 2 diabetes for the longest period of time had the smallest brain volumes.

“When you lose brain cells, you lose the capacity for more complex thoughts and memory,” says Dr. R. Nick Bryan, lead author of the study.

“Diabetes may be a risk factor for things like Alzheimer’s disease,” says Bryan, chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. “We didn’t prove that, but we suggest that … We have known for a long time that diabetes is not good for the brain.”

“Somehow diabetes is doing something to the brain that results in tissue loss (death of cells),” says Dr. Rosebud Roberts, professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved with this new research.

Type 2 diabetes can pose brain and memory risks not only because of damage to blood vessels, but also because of loss of brain cells, according to the research.

“It is important that patients understand the adverse effect of their disease on their brains and cooperate with their doctors who are trying to treat their diabetes and prevent the effects of diabetes on the brain and other organs,” Bryan said.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million people in the United States have Type 2 diabetes. While the disease often develops in conjunction with obesity or poor diet, in some cases, dangerous drugs can cause insulin uptake issues, which can also lead to Type 2 diabetes. For example, patients who took the statin Lipitor have developed Type 2 diabetes, and many of them are not overweight or obese because they already have pre-existing cholesterol issues.

While this recent study linked Type 2 diabetes and brain shrinkage and aging, it did not show that Type 2 diabetes causes brain damage.

The Strom Law Firm Is Now Investigating Lipitor Cases

Although many doctors believe that the benefits of statins such as Lipitor outweigh the risks, patients who are otherwise healthy disagree. Type 2 diabetes carries the risk of a wide variety of different side effects, including increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage or neuropathy, kidney damage, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, skin and mouth conditions, and diabetic macular edema, which can lead to blindness.

On Tuesday, February 18th, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) reconsidered Lipitor plaintiffs’ request to form a multidistrict litigation against Pfizer, and concluded that there were enough lawsuits to proceed. The MDL will centralize in South Carolina federal court.

The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are currently investigating claims that taking Lipitor is related to development of Type 2 diabetes. If you or a loved one have taken Lipitor and since developed Type 2 diabetes, you may have a case that could join the South Carolina MDL. You will need the help of a South Carolina defective drug attorney, so contact the Strom Law Firm today for a free consultation regarding the faces of your case. 803.252.4800



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