The international Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics journal has recently published the paper entitled ‘Cognitive function in diabetic persons with peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, a study carried out by the Observatory of Pain team that supports the presence of cognitive impairment in people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).
This is the first paper of the thesis of our colleague Jenifer Palomo Osuna who, through a systematic review and meta-analysis, analyzes the cognitive function in people with diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) or type 2 (DM2) and peripheral diabetic neuropathy (DPN). To do this, an exhaustive search of papers published up to November 2021 was carried out in the PubMed, Scopus, PsycInfo and Web of Science databases and 19 scientific papers were finally selected.
Despite the variability of tools, this review shows that the presence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is associated with cognitive impairment both in people with DM1 and in those with DM2, both globally and in specific dimensions. In addition, depression was also found to be associated with cognitive impairment.
In addition, the meta-analysis shows that individuals with DM2 and diabetic peripheral neuropathy have a higher cognitive impairment than those without diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetes mellitus: a pathology on the rise
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease that affects 171 million people worldwide, having doubled its prevalence in recent years from 4.7% to 8.5%.
The relationship between diabetes and cognitive function is complex due to the existence of factors such as high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia and obesity, which are common in these people and have been shown to be associated with their cognitive performance. Likewise, other factors such as the duration of diabetes, its metabolic control, associated comorbidities or the medicines taken could also affect it.