Aims To determine whether uncomplicated Type 2 diabetes is associated with
impairment of cognitive function and information processing ability.
Methods Thirty-eight participants with uncomplicated Type 2 diabetes and 38
non-diabetic controls were studied. The two groups were comparable for age
and premorbid intellectual ability, and did not have other medical disorde
rs likely to affect cognitive function. An extensive battery of tests was a
dministered which assessed different levels and domains of cognitive functi
ons including verbal and visual memory, executive function, general mental
ability and efficiency of information processing.
Results No significant differences were found between the diabetic and cont
rol groups on any measure of cognitive function or information processing.
The performance on these tests was not associated with recent glycaemic con
trol (assessed by HbA(1c)). Duration of diabetes, however, correlated signi
ficantly with poorer performance on several measures of verbal memory.
Conclusions The results of the present study suggest that some aspect of Ty
pe 2 diabetes (as indexed by the estimated duration of the disorder) does r
elate significantly to cognitive function within the group with diabetes. H
owever, other diabetes-related factors, such as macrovascular disease, hype
rtension and depression, may contribute more to previously observed cogniti
ve decrements in Type 2 diabetes.