Deterioration in motor function over time in older adults with type 2 diabetes is associated with accelerated cognitive decline

Ithamar Ganmore, Isak Elkayam, Ramit Ravona-Springer, Hung Mo Lin, Xiaoyu Liu, Meir Plotnik, Aron S. Buchman, Yuval Berman, Jonathan Schwartz, Mary Sano, Anthony Heymann, Michal Schnaider Beeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with motor impairments and a higher dementia risk. The relationships of motor decline with cognitive decline in T2D older adults has rarely been studied. Using data from the Israel Diabetes and Cognitive Decline study (N = 892), we examined associations of decline in motor function with cognitive decline over a 54-month period. Methods: Motor function measures were strength (handgrip) and gait speed (time to walk 3 m). Participants completed a neuropsychologic battery of 13 tests transformed into z-scores, summarized into 4 cognitive domains: episodic memory, attention/working memory, executive functions, and language/semantic categorization. The average of the 4 domains z-scores defined global cognition. Motor and cognitive functions were assessed in 18-months intervals. A random coefficients model delineated longitudinal relationships of cognitive decline with baseline and change from baseline in motor function, adjusting for sociodemographic, cardiovascular, and T2D-related covariates. Results: Slower baseline gait speed levels were significantly associated with more rapid decline in global cognition (P = .004), language/semantic categorization (P = .006) and episodic memory (P = .029). Greater decline over time in gait speed was associated with an accelerated rate of decline in global cognition (P = .050), attention/working memory (P = .047) and language/semantic categorization (P<.001). Baseline strength levels were not associated with cognitive decline but the rate of declining strength was associated with an accelerated decline in executive functions (P = .025) and language/semantic categorization (P = .006). Conclusion: In T2D older adults, the rate of decline in motor function, beyond baseline levels, was associated with accelerated cognitive decline, suggesting that cognitive and motor decline share common neuropathologic mechanisms in T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1152
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Deterioration in motor function over time in older adults with type 2 diabetes is associated with accelerated cognitive decline'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this