Sign up for our complimentary
weekly e-journal

Main Newsletter
Mastery Series
Therapy Series
 
Bookmark and Share | Print Article | Items for the Week Previous | All Articles This Week | Next
This article originally posted 21 June, 2013 and appeared in  Aging & DiabetesNeurologyIssue 682

Alzheimer's and Low Blood Sugar Can Trigger a Vicious Cycle

Low blood sugar episodes can increase the incidence of developing dementia, while dementia may increase the risk of having low blood sugar, creating a vicious cycle....

Advertisement

In a study composed of 783 diabetic patients, researchers found that elderly patients who were hospitalized for episodes of extreme hypoglycemia were twice as likely to develop dementia. Correspondingly, the diabetic patients with dementia were twice as likely to have a severe hypoglycemia episode. Essentially, both dementia and hypoglycemia increase one another. "This cycle leads to a decline in health," says Kristine Yaffe, MD of San Francisco Veterans Affair Medical Center.

The records of patients from a Memphis and Pittsburg hospital were studied. The age of participants in this study ranged from 70-79 years old at the time of enrollment and all patients were diagnosed with diabetes. These patients were followed for an average of12 years and occasionally were put through cognitive functioning tests. "Individuals with dementia or even those with milder forms of cognitive impairment may be less able to effectively manage complex treatment regimens for diabetes and less able to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and to respond appropriately, increasing their risk of severe hypoglycemia," says Yaffe.

This means that physicians should seriously consider cognitive function with deciding what medications to prescribe in diabetic patients, especially in elderly individuals. Medications such as insulin secretagogues and sulfonylureas are known to have an increased risk for causing hypoglycemia. According to these studies, it would beneficial for elderly patients to avoid taking these medications so that hypoglycemic events can be avoided as best as possible.

Kristine Yaffe et al. Association Between Hypoglycemia and Dementia in a Biracial Cohort of Older Adults With Diabetes MellitusHypoglycemia and Dementia in Older Adults With DM. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6176 

Advertisement


 

Bookmark and Share | Print | Category | Home

This article originally posted 21 June, 2013 and appeared in  Aging & DiabetesNeurologyIssue 682

Past five issues: Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series Issue 198 | Issue 738 | Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series Issue 197 | Issue 737 | Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series Issue 196 |

2014 Most Popular Articles:

U.S. FDA Approves Inhaled Insulin: What Medical Professionals Need to Know
Posted July 04, 2014
ADA: Lantus Losing Its Superiority to Newer Treatments
Posted June 20, 2014
Newly Updated: Comprehensive List of Insulins
Posted June 30, 2014
ADA: New HbA1c Target of 7.5% for Type 1 Children and Older Adults
Posted June 20, 2014
ADA: Another Inhaled Insulin Treatment for Type 1 and 2 Diabetes May Be Coming Soon
Posted June 26, 2014
Can Insulin Treatment Do More Harm Than Good for Older Type 2's?
Posted July 04, 2014
ADA: The Bionic Pancreas
Posted June 26, 2014
Too Much Medication for Elderly Diabetes Patients?
Posted July 11, 2014
Effects of Diabetes and Obesity on Normal Flora
Posted July 04, 2014
One Possible Answer to Healing Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Posted July 04, 2014


Browse by Feature Writer & Article Category.
A. Lee Dellon, MD | Aaron I. Vinik, MD, PhD, FCP, MACP | Beverly Price | Charles W Martin, DD | Derek Lowe, PhD | Dr. Bernstein | Dr. Brian Jakes, Jr. | Dr. Fred Pescatore | Dr. Tom Burke, Ph.D | Eric S. Freedland | Evan D. Rosen | Ginger Kanzer-Lewis | Greg Milliger | Kristina Sandstedt | Laura Plunkett | Leonard Lipson, M.A. | Louis H. Philipson | Maria Emanuel Ryan, DDS, PhD | Marilyn Porter, RD, CDE | Melissa Diane Smith | Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD, FASHP | Paul Chous, M.A., OD | Philip A. Wood PhD | R. Keith Campbell, Professor, B.Pharm, MBA, CDE | Sheri R. Colberg PhD | Sherri Shafer | Stanley Schwartz, MD, FACP, FACE | Steve Pohlit | Steven V. Edelman, M.D. | Timothy S. Hollingshead |
Cast Your Vote
Do you offer group education sessions in your practice?
CME/CE of the Week
Tracy Breen, MD

Category: General Diabetes
Credits: 1.0
Search Articles On Diabetes In Control