French researchers have thrown light on the slower rates of memory loss amongst those suffering Alzheimer's disease and diabetes as compared to those who have just Alzheimer's.
A study which tracked 600 patients for four years revealed that those suffering both diabetes and Alzheimer's scored better on memory and thinking tests than patients who were victims of Alzheimer's alone. This study was also undertaken to understand if diabetes has an influence on the manner of mental decline in those suffering early stages of the condition.
Dr. Caroline Sanz of the French National Institute said, "Our initial hypothesis was that diabetes would increase the rate of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer's disease."
Studies conducted earlier had pointed an enhanced risk of Alzheimer's for those suffering diabetes.
During the initial phase of the study, patients who suffered both Diabetes and Alzheimer's, as well as those with Alzheimer's alone scored 20 points on an average in the cognitive tests.
The results were different during the periodic testing period- the group which did not have diabetes declined by an average of 1.24 points, while those who had diabetes declined by 0.38 points per test.
Although the reason for the rate of memory loss being slower in diabetics was not very clear, scientists opine it could be due to some drugs taken by diabetics. Heart medications and statins taken by older diabetics can decrease the risk of developing diabetes or slow the rate of cognitive decline in those suffering Alzheimer's disease.
The study is published in the journal Neurology.