Richard G. Petty, MD

Insulin Resistance and Cognition

I have talked a lot about insulin resistance and the problems that it can cause. It is one of the biggest threats facing the human population, with at least a third of Americans now being insulin resistant. It looks as there may be another complication of insulin resistance that we need to add to the list.

Researchers from Canada presented some interesting data (NR385) at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Diego last month.

There has been a great deal of concern that some newer antipsychotics may cause insulin resistance and perhaps diabetes, and the FDA has required all the newer antipsychotics to carry a warning about this potential problem. We also know that although these medicines can be very effective in treating some symptoms, they do not usually help cognition very much.

The researchers recruited 37 people with chronic schizophrenia and did neurocognitive tests on them while also measuring their insulin resistance.

They found a significant correlation between insulin resistance and neurocognitive functioning. It looks as if insulin signaling is important for processing information in the brain and insulin resistance interferes with the process.

Though this study look at a highly specialized group: people with chronic schizophrenia – there is some recent evidence to suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease, and that people may develop cognitive impairments if they go on to develop insulin resistance syndrome or impaired fasting glucose.

Yet another good reason for using diet, exercise and sleep to try and present insulin resistance and maintain healthy glucose levels.

Regular readers will recall that there are five pillars of healthy aging and the prevention of cognitive decline:

  1. Blood pressure
  2. Physical activity
  3. Mental activity
  4. Supplements and moderate alcohol
  5. Social engagement and level mood

We should now add avoidance of insulin resistance to the list. Taken together, the evidence suggests that we can dramatically reduce our risk of cognitive decline as we get older.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

logo logo logo logo logo logo