People with prediabetes have older brains

They're more likely to have lacunar infarcts compared with those with normal glucose metabolism, study says

People with prediabetes have structural abnormalities in the brain equivalent to about two additional years of normal brain ageing, according to new findings.

MRI studies have identified structural brain abnormalities, including lacunar infarcts and white matter hyperintensities, in people with type 2 diabetes, lead researcher Dr Alfons Houben of Maastricht University Medical Center and his team note in Diabetes Care.

These abnormalities have been linked to stroke, depression and dementia, they add.

To investigate whether prediabetes might also be associated with brain changes, they looked at 2228 Maastricht Study participants, including 1373 with normal glucose metabolism, 347 with prediabetes and 508 with type 2 diabetes, based on oral glucose tolerance testing.

The Maastricht Study is an extensive phenotyping study that focuses on the etiology of type 2 diabetes.