Cognitive dysfunction profile and arterial stiffness in type 2 diabetes

Published:August 07, 2012DOI:



      The causative mechanisms of type 2 diabetes (T2D) on cognitive dysfunction are still undergoing development.


      To explore the cognitive dysfunction profile and its relation to the potential role of arterial stiffness in later middle age T2D patients.


      We studied 37 patients with T2D (age range 45–65 years) and 22 normal controls. All participants underwent comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. The carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) measurements were taken with the PulsePen device.


      Our results showed significantly poorer performance on all tests assessing attention/executive functions and processing speed in patients with T2D. In addition to cognitive slowing T2D patients demonstrated significant deficits in almost all measures of verbal episodic memory after adjustment for age, education and blood pressure (BP) levels (p<0.05). Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV) appeared significantly higher in T2D subjects than in normal controls after adjustment for age and BP level (p<0.001). Significant relationship was observed between CF-PWV and cognitive status.


      We revealed that arterial stiffness was increased and associated with cognitive impairment in T2D. The cognitive profile indicates hippocampal amnestic type mild cognitive impairment associated with a pronounced dysexecutive syndrome suggesting that diabetes may affect cognition through both vascular and neurodegenerative processes. However, neurodegenerative cognitive profile caused by hippocampal atrophy in a pure vascular process could not be excluded.


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