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Excess blood sugar inhibits brain

Posted - Dec. 22, 2004 at 2:40 p.m.



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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Virginia researchers say a temporary rise in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes can inhibit their ability to think quickly and solve problems.

The study by the University of Virginia Health System team, to be published in the January issue of the journal Diabetes Care, found that people who had both type 1 and type 2 diabetes performed poorly on math and verbal tests when they became hyperglycemic, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia include high blood glucose, high levels of sugar in the urine, frequent urination and increased thirst.

Roughly 55 percent of the people in the study showed signs of cognitive slowing or increased errors while hyperglycemic, suggesting that the consequences of hyperglycemia vary among individuals.

However, among those whose cognitive performance deteriorated when blood sugar levels rose, the negative effects consistently appeared once levels reached or exceeded a certain threshold.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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