$8 Million Grant to Fund Study of Lifestyle Intervention for Type 2 Diabetes

Mark Espeland
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $8 million to Wake Forest Baptist to study cognitive decline and impairment in older adults with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese.

“It is critical to understand the role of lifestyle intervention for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity,” said one of the study’s principal investigators, Mark Espeland, PhD, professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist. “Together, these two conditions nearly double one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”

The four-year study, part of the NIH’s Action for Health in Diabetes, will be led by Espeland, Kathleen Hayden, PhD, associate professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist, and José Luchsinger, MD, of Columbia University. The study will build on earlier findings that intensive lifestyle intervention in overweight older adults with diabetes was associated with a 30 percent decrease in cognitive impairment. However, this potential benefit was not firmly established, necessitating additional research.

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