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Type 2 diabetes mellitus, brain atrophy, and cognitive decline


Moran, C and Beare, R and Wang, W and Callisaya, M and Srikanth, V, for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), Type 2 diabetes mellitus, brain atrophy, and cognitive decline, Neurology, 92, (8) pp. e823-e830. ISSN 0028-3878 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 American Academy of Neurology

DOI: doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006955


Objective: To study longitudinal relationships between type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cortical thickness, and cognitive function in older people with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer disease (AD).

Methods: The sample was derived from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative cohort who underwent brain MRI and cognitive tests annually for 5 years. Presence of T2DM was based on fasting blood glucose ≥7.0mml/L or the use of glucose-lowering agents. We used latent growth curve modeling to explore longitudinal relationships between T2DM, cortical thickness, and cognitive function, adjusting for relevant covariates and testing for interactions.

Results: There were 124 people with T2DM (mean age 75.5 years, SD 6.2) and 693 without T2DM (mean age 75.1 years, SD 6.9) with at least 1 MRI available. AD and lower cortical thickness at study entry was associated with a lower chance of having a MRI available at each follow-up phase (all p < 0.001). T2DM was associated with lower baseline cortical thickness (p = 0.01). We found no direct effect of T2DM on decline in cortical thickness or cognitive function, but there was an indirect pathway linking T2DM and cognitive decline via baseline cortical thickness (β = -0.17, p = 0.022). There was an interaction between T2DM and education whereby the negative effect of T2DM on baseline cortical thickness was reduced in those with greater education (β = 0.34, p = 0.037). These associations changed minimally when adjusted for baseline cognitive diagnosis.

Conclusions: In an older cohort with low cerebrovascular disease burden, T2DM contributes to cognitive decline via neurodegeneration. Prior brain and cognitive reserve may protect against this effect.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:diabetes, brain, dementia
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Geriatrics and gerontology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Callisaya, M (Dr Michele Callisaya)
UTAS Author:Srikanth, V (Dr Velandai Srikanth)
ID Code:130736
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1135761)
Web of Science® Times Cited:51
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-02-08
Last Modified:2020-02-04

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