Metabolic Syndrome May Hasten Cognitive Decline

Global cognitive function and cognitive components show negative impact in older adults

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its individual components appear to have a deleterious effect on cognitive function in older adults, according to research published online Feb. 2 in Neurology.

Christelle Raffaitin, M.D., of the University Hospital of Bordeaux in Pessac, France, and colleagues studied cognitive function in 4,323 women and 2,764 men 65 and older to look for an association between MetS and the risk of cognitive decline.

The researchers found an association between baseline MetS and increased risk for cognitive decline. Hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in particular were significantly associated with greater levels of decline according to a global cognitive function test, while diabetes was significantly associated with greater decline on a verbal fluency test and a visual working memory test.

"From these results, it could be postulated that specific management of MetS, as well as its components, may contribute to slowing down age-related cognitive decline, or postpone the onset of clinical dementia. It would therefore be particularly useful to evaluate in a large prospective trial whether intensive care of MetS in older persons could have an impact on the incidence of cognitive deterioration," the authors write.

Three authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and/or other companies.

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