Researchers in the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre at the University of Newcastle are looking for men or post-menopausal women aged between 40-80 years with type 2 diabetes but not taking insulin therapy to participate in a research study that is investigating the effects of a nutritional supplement (resveratrol) on mental abilities.
“Cognitive impairment is a complication of type 2 diabetes that is gaining increasing attention”, said principal investigator Professor Peter Howe. “We believe that high blood sugar in sufferers of type 2 diabetes can damage blood vessels and impair blood flow in the brain, which may reduce their ability to perform mental tasks”.
Eligible participants will be asked to visit the Centre each week for 4 weeks. On each occasion they will give a small blood sample then take four capsules containing the supplement, after which the blood flow in their brain will be measured using ultrasound.
They will also perform a series of computer-based mental tests whilst blood flow to the brain is measured, then a final small blood sample will be taken.
“Resveratrol is an ingredient found in red wine, grapes and berries, and has been shown to improve blood vessel function. This study will help us find the optimal dose of resveratrol to improve cerebral blood flow in response to a range of cognitive stimuli”, said PhD student, Rhen Nealon.
The researchers hope that the results of the study, which is supported by a Dementia Collaborative Research Centres grant, will lead to a new nutritional approach with ready availability of safe and effective supplements to prevent or delay cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes.