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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2011 Oct;94(1):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2011.06.014. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Does cerebral small vessel disease predict future decline of cognitive function in elderly people with type 2 diabetes?

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Department of Diabetes and Endocrine Internal Medicine, Chubu Rosai Hospital, Nagoya, Japan.



We conducted a 3-year longitudinal study concerning an association between cognitive function and cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in elderly type 2 diabetic patients.


Four cognitive function tests--MMSE, word recall, Digit Symbol Substitution (DSS), and Stroop Color Word (Stroop)--were performed in 67 diabetic patients twice in 2006 and 2009. SVD was diagnosed as silent brain infarct (SBI) and white matter lesions (WMLs) according to MRI.


Number of SBI was significantly correlated with a decline in DSS and Stroop tests, while WMLs grade was only associated with it in DSS tests after adjustment for age, gender, education years, the presence of hypertension and dyslipidemia, and smoking. Severity of SVD at baseline was stronger associated with cognitive function after the 3-year follow-up than at baseline. WMLs progression was associated with more rapid decline of DSS tests compared to a group without progression.


SVD seen on MRI is a good marker for predicting future cognitive decline, and monitoring of treatment through the use of such markers is expected to maintain a good quality of life for elderly diabetic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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