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DEMENTIA AND DIABETES

ANCHOR LEAD:  DOES DIABETES MAKE DEMENTIA PROGRESS FASTER?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Diabetes is well known for its ability to compromise lots of body systems, especially the cardiovascular system, which is also thought to be important in the development of dementia.  Now a study has looked at both factors together.  Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

LYKETSOS:  If you have dementia and you also have diabetes, does your dementia progress faster?  What this study seems to suggest is that if you have dementia and you are known to have diabetes, then your dementia might actually progress slower.  Is it the diabetes is somehow slowing the progression of dementia, or is it the fact that the diabetes is known, and these people are getting better treatment for their diabetes?  I would favor the latter.  To me, this is simply evidence that a major predictor of how fast someone with dementia declines is how their comorbid medical conditions are managed.   :34

The take home message is that folks with dementia need good medical care to delay their progression as much as possible.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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