Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Body and mind

By Peggy O'Farrell
The Cincinnati Enquirer


Brain link: Young people with diabetes commonly suffer cerebral atrophy, and small blood vessels within the brain's white matter are often damaged in these patients, according to new research.

Preliminary findings indicate the atrophy and blood vessel damage could be important in understanding why older diabetics develop cognitive impairment, said Dr. Richard K.T. Chan, an assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Chan is lead author of the study, conducted in cooperation with researchers at the University of Western Ontario.

"Although brain involvement in diabetes has been suspected, this is the first study that approaches the problem in a systematic manner," Chan said. "Persons with Type 1 diabetes comprise a unique population, because insulin was introduced only about 50 years ago. These people are now entering the golden years and their quality of life can be significantly impacted by impaired brain function."

Results of the research were presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting earlier this month.

Researchers want to find out how widespread cognitive impairment is among young, otherwise healthy patients with Type 1 diabetes and to correlate impairment with imaging and clinical signs.

Impairment can range from poor school performance to forgetfulness. It's not known how the damage occurs.


Men's health: The National Institute of Mental Health has launched a health education campaign to reach the estimated 6 million American men suffering from depression.

Men are less likely to seek treatment for depression than women, and four times more likely to die by suicide, statistics show.

The campaign, "Real Men - Real Depression" features stories from everyday Americans affected by depression.

To learn more, call (866) 227-6464 or visit


Help: The National Mental Health Association is offering a series of free brochures on coping with the war on terrorism. Topics include coping with terrorist attacks, helping children deal with loss, understanding mental health, workplace issues and tips for college students. Information: Mary Grover, Mental Health Association of the Cincinnati Area, 721-2910, Ext. 15.


Cruisin': Registration for the June 1 Cancer Survivors Day cruise on BB Riverboats will be held April 21-25. Registration: 686-5555 between 10 a.m.-

4 p.m.; Cost: $10. The cruise is open to all cancer survivors and is sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Survivors Day Coalition.

Shelf help

Positive: Thriving with Heart Disease (Free Press; $25) by Dr. Wayne M. Sotile states that the key to managing heart disease is managing its emotional side effects.

Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:

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