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Insulin resistance (IR) is a putative risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, and has been shown to impede neuronal glucose metabolism in animal models. This post hoc study focused on metabolic changes in the medial prefrontal region, a brain region exhibiting decline years before documented cognitive changes, relative to high or low IR status in a cohort of postmenopausal women at risk for dementia who were randomized to continue or discontinue existing stable hormone therapy (HT) for 2 years. Subjects were dichotomized into high and low IR groups based on the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, which was within clinically normal limits for the group as a whole at both baseline and 2-year follow-up. Results showed that high and low IR groups showed significant differences in metabolic decline of the medial prefrontal gyrus, regardless of HT randomization group. However, HT randomization was predictive of metabolic decline only in women with low HOMA (homeostatic assessment of insulin resistance). Performance in working memory was consistent with observed metabolic changes. These results suggest IR may be an independent moderator of regional metabolic changes, while protective metabolic effects of HT are most apparent in those at low-end range of IR. If replicated in future studies, these findings will help to better understand the interaction between putative risk and protective factors, and further delineate cohort postmenopausal women who may benefit from HT.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.04.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000338596500005