Diabetes linked to poor impulse control

February 11th, 2010 - 1:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 11 (ANI): A new study by a team of Japanese researchers has shown that type-2 diabetes is linked to poor impulse control.

The research, conducted by Hiroaki Kumano, from Waseda University, Japan, also revealed that neurological changes result in this inability to resist temptation, which may in turn exacerbate diabetes.

Kumano worked with a team of researchers to assess response inhibition, a measure of self-control, in 27 patients with type-2 diabetes and 27 healthy controls.

“Patients with type 2 diabetes are required to make strict daily decisions; for example, they should resist the temptation of high-fat, high-calorie food, which is frequently cued by specific people, places and events. Appropriate behaviour modification thus depends on the patient’s ability to inhibit impulsive thoughts and actions cued by these environmental stimuli,” he said.

In order to gauge the patients’ ability to resist such impulsive behaviour, the researchers used a test in which participants had to quickly press a button in response to the correct signal on a computer screen, while pressing the button in response to the wrong symbol counted against their score.

They found that patients with diabetes performed significantly worse at the test, suggesting that they struggled to control the impulse to press the button.

Other results showed that the inhibitory failure observed in diabetic patients was mainly explained by cognitive impairment of impulsivity control, rather than by deficits in motor performance, error monitoring and adjustment.

“This suggests the possibility that the neuropsychological deficits in response inhibition may contribute to the behavioural problems leading to chronic lifestyle-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes,” Kumano said.

The study appears in BioMed Central’s open access journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine. (ANI)

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