Diabetes encephalopathy is any brain disease, damage, or malfunction that derives from diabetes. The complications may include memory loss, dementia, and decreases in literacy. People may also experience difficulty concentrating, lethargy, perception disability, and poor judgment. Furthermore, many patients report problems with the limbs such as poor coordination of the limbs and muscle twitching. According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetes encephalopathy is now considered a complication of diabetes.
There are a number of different kinds of diabetic encephalopathy, but Cerebrovascular Disease is the most common. Diabetes-site.com reports that people who have metabolic problems such as diabetes often have a very high blood viscosity. When blood sugar levels stay high for a long time, they thicken the capillary basement membrane and narrow the capillaries causing blood flow to decrease. When there is not enough blood flow to the brain, it causes problems with perception and comprehension.
Early intervention can prevent or decrease the progression of diabetic encephalopathy. In order to avoid this condition it is important that you control your blood sugar and blood pressure levels. This will also help you to avoid heart disease, hyperlipidemia, and cerebral arteriosclerosis.
Being positive and optimistic will also help you to avoid diabetes encephalopathy. It is recommended that you avoid mood swings, exhaustion, and overexertion as much as possible. Finally, be aware of the pre-symptoms of stroke so that treatment is prompt, and be sure get check-ups regularly so that these types of conditions can be detected early on.
Diabetes Encephalopathy and Alzheimer’s
As stated above, diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cognitive dysfunction. It has been found that diabetics are at an increased risk of dementia, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, there have been a number of ways that diabetes has been found to affect the brain. First, metabolic and vascular risk factors are involved, and may be predictors of cerebrovascular disease, cognitive decline, and dementia. Second, high glucose levels are thought to have “toxic” effects on the brain and its vascular parts. Finally, insulin may be a factor in causing early brain aging, and it has also been implicated in the formation of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have diabetes and have any symptoms of dementia, memory loss, or the like, be sure and talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t be ashamed to let your loved ones know either, as they may be needed to help you receive the treatment that you need. Some forms of diabetes encephalopathy are short-term. They are a hypoglycemic reaction and can return to normal 40-90 minutes after your blood sugar levels are back to normal. However, the cause and severity is for your doctor to determine. Remember, early diagnosis is the best way to avoid long-term complications in diabetes encephalopathy.