Does diabetes mellitus contribute to the disease burden of vascular dementia?

Santosh B Murthy, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second most common of dementia. Multiple risk factors are associated with VaD, but the individual contribution of each to disease onset and progression is unclear. We examined the relationship between diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM) and the clinical variables of VaD. Methods. Data from 593 patients evaluated between June, 2003 and June, 2008 for cognitive impairment were prospectively entered into a database. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 63 patients who fit the NINDS-AIREN criteria of VaD. The patients were divided into those with DM (VaD-DM, n=29) and those without DM (VaD, n=34). The groups were compared with regard to multiple variables. Results. Patients with DM had a significantly earlier onset of VaD (71.9±6.54 vs. 77.2±6.03, p<0.001), a faster rate of decline per year on the mini mental state examination (MMSE; 3.60±1.82 vs. 2.54±1.60 points, p=0.02), and a greater prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms (62% vs. 21%, p=0.02) at the time of diagnosis. Conclusions. This study shows that a history of pre-morbid DM is associated with an early onset and faster cognitive deterioration in VaD. Moreover, the presence of DM predicts the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with VaD. A larger study is needed to verify these associations. It will be important to investigate whether better glycemic control will mitigate the potential effects of DM on VaD.

Subject Area

Medicine|Public health

Recommended Citation

Murthy, Santosh B, "Does diabetes mellitus contribute to the disease burden of vascular dementia?" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1480451.