Cognitive impairment and postural control deficit in adults with Type 2 diabetes

Stacey L. Gorniak, Fangmei Yoshimi Lu, Beom Chan Lee, Paul J. Massman, Jing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Diseases induced by metabolic disorders, eg, Type 2 diabetes, has recently been linked to both sensory and motor deficit in the absence of a formal clinical diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. Studies have demonstrated mild cognitive impairment in diabetic patients, which also plays a role in one's loss of ability to successfully perform basic motor activities. This project focused on evaluating cognitive function while maintaining balance. We hypothesized that simultaneous cognitive and motor deficit would occur among adults with Type 2 diabetes versus healthy age- and sex-matched control during a balance task. Methods: A sample of 10 Type 2 diabetes patients and 10 age-matched and sex-matched controls underwent a series of sensory, motor, cognitive, and cognitive-motor evaluations. Blood pressure and A 1c levels were assessed. Results: Significantly lower cognitive function scores, particularly in the domain of working memory, were exhibited in the diabetic group than controls. Balance in the diabetic group was overall poorer in both single- and dual-tasks than controls. When diabetic patients were asked to verbally recall different words while maintaining their balance, their accuracy rate was significantly lower than controls. Some health state measures were found to co-vary with motor function. Increased body mass index in the diabetic group did not account for motor function deficit. Significance: Our data suggest that: (1) systemic deficit beyond tactile dysfunction and increased body mass index contribute to reduced motor function in diabetes, and (2) both balance and working memory functions are simultaneously impaired in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3089
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • BMI
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • cognitive function
  • cognitive-motor impairment
  • motor function
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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