Diabetic foot issues linked to memory problems
A study conducted by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negez, located in Israel, found patients with diabetic foot issues also suffer from decreased cognitive functions. Diabetic foot is a condition caused by diabetes that includes non-healing foot ulcers and necrosis.
For those with diabetes, having blood glucose or blood sugar levels that are too high can damage nerves or blood vessels, cause loss of feeling in their feet and lead to foot ulcers. Over time, this can lead to amputation.
“This study shows a clear correlation between diabetes and cognitive deterioration,” researcher Rachel Natovich said in a press release. “Diabetes is a multi-system condition that affects the brain, and the risk of a diabetic developing dementia is twice that of a ‘normal’ person. Diabetic foot is a symptom that diabetes is causing deterioration of the entire cardiovascular system.”
Those who suffered from diabetic foot had increased memory lapse, difficulty concentrating, decreased verbal skills and slower cognitive responses, according to the study. The cognitive abilities of the two groups were similar prior to developing the condition.
“It’s important to take care of your feet because they represent our most basic form of mobility and transportation,” says Dr. Neil Horsley, podiatrist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “However, total or partial loss of foot function can cause a partial or total loss of our independence. Those who have chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus should have a podiatrist as a standard part of their health care team.”
The study also included the following recommendations for diabetic patients:
- Patients with diabetic foot must be routinely monitored for cognitive changes.
- Due to difficulties with memory, attention and executive functions, the family and health care provider must take a more active role in patient care.
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