Effects of improved glycaemic control maintained for 3 months on cognitive function in patients with Type 2 diabetes


Monika Mussell PhD, Department of Medicine II, University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty of Mannheim, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer, D-68315 Mannheim, Germany. E-mail: monika.mussell@med.ma.uni-heidelberg.de


Background and aim  In a previous study we failed to find beneficial short-term effects of improved glycaemic control on cognitive functioning in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. A subgroup of the entire sample was tested again to examine the effect of longer-lasting improvement of metabolic control on cognitive functioning.

Methods  The cognitive performance of 26 patients with Type 2 diabetes was assessed at baseline and 3 months after discharge. Thirteen controls were tested at the similar time-points. Attention/concentration, psychomotor speed, verbal fluency, verbal memory and depressive symptoms were assessed. Improved glycaemic control was generally achieved with insulin therapy (20/26).

Results  At baseline, there was a trend for diabetic patients to perform worse than controls. Both groups improved significantly over 3 months in several measures. However, diabetic patients did not improve more than controls.

Conclusions  In individuals with long-standing Type 2 diabetes, previous reports of improved cognitive capacity following restoration and maintenance of near-normoglycaemia were not confirmed. This might relate to the type of anti-diabetic therapy.