Changes in blood sugar levels maycause patients with diabetes to becomementally and physically sluggish duringtheir daily routines. A majority of individualswith the disease are aware of the problemswhen their blood sugar levels drop too far.Patients, however, also often report notfeeling well when their blood glucose levelsare high, but lacking "a clear theory as towhy that happens, patients' complaintswere typically being ignored," said leadinvestigator Daniel J. Cox, PhD.
Therefore, Dr. Cox and his researchteam conducted a study of 196 participantswith type 1 diabetes and 34 withtype 2 diabetes. The participants wereasked to complete tests assessing verbaland mathematical skills using hand-heldcomputers. The tasks were done immediatelybefore routine self-monitoring ofblood glucose levels, 3 to 4 times daily.The results of the study indicated that50% of the participants had more mistakesand had slower responses whensugar levels went beyond a certain point.(The findings were reported in DiabetesCare, January 2005.)