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New Study Linking Diabetes and Brain Health

Posted by Brian Shevel on 27 July 2015

Toronto, Canada, July 27, 2015 - Home Care Assistance Toronto/York Region (HomeCareAssistance-Toronto.com), the leading provider of non-medical, in-home senior care in the Greater Toronto Area, is weighing in on a new study that claims diabetes may affect brain health.

A new study from Harvard Medical School suggests diabetes may have a serious impact on brain health. With the number of people worldwide living with diabetes expected to reach near 600,000 million in the next 20 years, researchers believe the link could predict a serious problem for the global medical community. (Source: "Diabetes May Affect Brain Health," Home Care Assistance web site, July 14, 2015; http://homecareassistance.com/diabetes-may-affect-brain-health.)

"Diabetes is such a widespread disease and one that people really don't take seriously enough," says Brian Shevel, President of Home Care Assistance Toronto/York Region. "Many people aren't even aware they have diabetes until it's well developed. It's already proven that diabetes can have a negative impact on the heart and kidneys; now, in this new study, we're finding out just how far diabetes can go in being a debilitating disease and causing issues in the brain."

The study tested and monitored brain activity through MRI scans and blood tests in 65 patients from the ages of 57 to 75 over a two-year span. Half of these patients had type 2 diabetes. The conclusions in the study found that blood flow to the brain was reduced in those patients with type 2 diabetes and those same patients also performed worst in cognitive function tests.

"Unfortunately, it's really not that surprising," Shevel continues. "The effects on seniors with diabetes can be crippling, which is why those who have been diagnosed with the disease need to really follow their doctor's orders. These usually include a stricter diet and an active lifestyle."

The study showed the decline in brain function was due to the diabetes negatively impacting the flexibility of blood vessels, which in turn, causes the vessels to be less responsive in expanding for oxygen. Unrestrained blood flow to the brain is crucial to maintaining high cognitive function for seniors. With diabetes impeding the flow to the brain, it causes the problems that lead to reduced cognitive function, among other issues.

Shevel goes on to say that the most important takeaway from this study is that seniors need to assess the warning signs and get tested for diabetes: "Smokers, seniors who are overweight and inactive, or those who have high blood pressure are more susceptible to diabetes and need to get tested regularly. Diabetes causes so many more problems other than just affecting the brain, so I'm hoping this study helps focus more eyes on the potential severity of the disease and the need for further research."

Home Care Assistance Toronto/York Region has caregivers who are skilled at ensuring the seniors they care for stick to the diet and activity regiment necessary to promote a healthy lifestyle and combat diabetes. For more information on how Home Care Assistance Toronto/York Region can help care for loved ones, visit https://www.homecareassistance-toronto.com/

Brian ShevelAuthor: Brian Shevel
About: I am originally from South Africa from a small city called Bloemfontein. After I completed my education, I went to work with my late-father who had a wholesale business selling clothes and shoes to retail stores around the country. I was in the business till I left for Canada in 1993. In Canada, I have run several businesses in a variety of industries. Although I experienced success, I missed helping people. I learned from my parents that helping seniors was important to their well-being and of great value to the community. Volunteer work remains a priority in my life. I am a past president of Bnai Brith and serve on many other committees.
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