Perspectives on Diabetes Care

This is the official blog of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists where we share recent research and professional opinions on diabetes care and education.


Explore Helpful Views on Diabetes Care & Education

If you're looking for professional opinions on diabetes care and education, you're in the right place. Perspectives on Diabetes Care is the official ADCES® diabetes care and education blog that shares helpful views on diabetes care and education. 

This is where you'll find practical tips on working with people affected by prediabetes, diabetes and related cardiometabolic conditions and the latest research and viewpoints on issues facing diabetes care and education specialists and the people they serve.



Current & Past ADCES Blog Articles


Diabetes and Brain Health

Dec 9, 2014, 01:00 AM

I recently went to a continuing education program presented by Pam Baird, BBS, BBA and Candy Hart RN, BS at the Kentucky Statewide Diabetes Symposium titled “Diabetes and Brain Health.” How diabetes affects the brain is a topic that we are hearing more about. Since diabetes is high blood sugar and obviously there is blood in our brain, it makes sense that diabetes affects the brain. They discussed how blood vessel damage occurs from hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes. This vessel damage is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's.

Insulin also plays a key role in brain function. From the HBO special, “The Alzheimer's Project,”  there is an article explaining the research from Dr. Suzanne Craft, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is studying how insulin resistance causes lower insulin levels in the brain resulting in memory problems. They are working on how to restore insulin levels to the brain but not cause higher insulin levels in the rest of the body. Since higher insulin levels in the body would increase insulin resistance and beta-amyloid levels (a protein that contributes to Alzheimer’s).

Besides keeping blood sugars levels in check, they outlined other lifestyle things everyone can do aid in brain health:

-prevent falls
-eat less overall
-make sure you are getting omega 3s on a daily basis
-participate in debates to keep your quick thinking skills sharp
-eat poly-phenols from grape juice and red wine
-deep breathing for relaxation
-exercise peripheral vision by practicing staring straight ahead for a few minutes, not looking right or left
-draw or paint
-sleep 7-8 hours a night
-daily exercise

Have you discussed the relationship between cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s risk with your diabetes patients? Have you seen firsthand how uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer's with your patients? Comment below on creative ways to teach the connection between diabetes and brain function.