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Type 2 diabetes— long known to have an adverse effect on the brain— has now been linked with the loss of brain matter.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers studied the brain structures of 614 patients with a mean age of 62, who had all been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for an average of 10 years. They found that long-term diabetes was associated with the greatest loss of brain tissue – suggesting brain atrophy.
“It’d been thought that most, if not all, of the effect of diabetes on the brain was due to vascular disease that diabetics get and, therefore, stroke,” lead study author Dr. R. Nick Bryan, chair and professor emeritus of the department of radiology at the Perleman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told FoxNews.com. “We found that in addition to that, there’s sort of diffuse loss of brain tissue, atrophy… we think may have a direct effect of the diabetes on the brain.”