Executive dysfunction in homebound older people with diabetes mellitus

Wei Qiao Qiu, Lori Lyn Price, Patricia Hibberd, Jennifer Buell, Lauren Collins, Drew Leins, David Mkaya Mwamburi, Irwin Rosenberg, Lauren Smaldone, Tammy M. Scott, Richard D. Siegel, Paul Summergrad, Xiaoyan Sun, Carey Wagner, Lixia Wang, Jacqueline Yee, Katherine L. Tucker, Marshal Folstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To describe patterns of cognitive deficits and activities of daily living (ADLs) in older people with diabetes mellitus. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, population-based study. SETTING: Three homecare agency areas in Boston, Massachusetts. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred ninety-one homebound people aged 60 and older; 40% with diabetes mellitus. MEASUREMENTS: Demographic data; evidence of diabetes mellitus and other diseases; Mini-Mental State Examination and tests of memory and executive function; ADLs. RESULTS: Executive and visuospatial functions were more impaired in individuals with diabetes mellitus than in those without, as assessed using Block Design (mean score± standard deviation 17.1±8.6 vs 20.5±9.6, P=.003) and Trails B (median seconds to accomplish the task: 255 vs 201, P=.03). For memory, word retention score was lower in those with diabetes mellitus than without (39.1±28.9 vs 48.0±29.7, P=.01), but the other memory tests did not show a difference between these two subgroups. More individuals with diabetes mellitus suffered from depressive symptoms than those without (55% vs 42%, P=.03). The ADL scores of those with diabetes mellitus were higher than those without. CONCLUSION: The pattern of cognitive deficits in people with diabetes mellitus suggests frontal-subcortical dysfunction, as seen in microvascular disease of the brain. The impairment in ADLs may be associated with this executive dysfunction, which cerebral microvascular disease in diabetes mellitus may cause.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-501
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Daily function
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Executive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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