Insulin Resistance Linked to Language Problems in Women

Women with insulin resistance - a classic symptom of type 2 diabetes - may be more prone to problems with language and verbal fluency, a new study reports.

The higher the insulin resistance, the study found, the poorer the verbal fluency - which is a critical part of executive brain function and memory.

To test verbal fluency, participants in the study were asked to name as many animals as they could in 60 seconds, and the researchers adjusted the subjects' scores for age, education and other health factors.

Insulin resistance and cognitive decline

It's been well-established by other research that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for general cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

The study didn't find a link between insulin resistance and verbal fluency in men, which could be explained by gender differences in the brain's white matter hyperintensitites (WMH) - which are more common in women and in people with metabolic issues like insulin resistance.

"We show that insulin resistance is associated with poorer verbal fluency in women, which strengthens the previous findings showing that insulin has gender-specific effects on cognition," the authors wrote.

Since insulin resistance can be detected even years before a diabetes diagnosis, preventive treatments for women at risk of type 2 diabetes could be useful, they concluded.

Source: EurekAlert!

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