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Rosiglitazone May Help Maintain Cognition in Diabetes Patients

Helps older patients with mild cognitive impairment remain stable on neuropsychological tests

FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adding rosiglitazone to the treatment for type 2 diabetes may help protect against cognitive decline in older patients with mild cognitive impairment, according to a study in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

Angela M. Abbatecola, M.D., of the Italian National Research Center on Aging in Ancona, and colleagues studied 97 type 2 diabetes patients (mean age, 76 years) with mild cognitive impairment who had recently begun diabetes treatment with either metformin, metformin plus rosiglitazone, or diet. At baseline and every 12 weeks for 36 weeks, the researchers conducted diabetes clinical testing and neuropsychological testing consisting of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), and Trail Making Tests (TMT-A and TMT-B).

In follow-up, the researchers found that fasting plasma insulin (FPI), fasting plasma glucose, and A1C levels improved in both the metformin and metformin/rosiglitazone groups. Significantly, the metformin/rosiglitazone group remained stable for all neuropsychological tests, while the metformin-only group remained stable for the MMSE and TMTs but declined for the RAVLT. The diet group remained stable for the MMSE and TMT-A, but declined on the TMT-B test, executive efficiency measures, and the RAVLT memory test. Also, FPI × time correlated with cognitive stability measured by the RAVLT in the metformin/rosiglitazone group.

"In summary, this present study provides encouraging evidence that insulin sensitizers, such as rosiglitazone, not only may be important for reaching metabolic control in type 2 diabetes but may also protect against cognitive decline," the authors write.

The study was supported by grants from GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures rosiglitazone.

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