Published: 2021-01-13 10:06 | Updated: 2021-01-13 14:09

New thesis about diabetes mellitus in patients with dementia

Hi Juraj Sečník, PhD student at the Division of Clinical Geriatrics! On January 29 you will defend your thesis “Diabetes mellitus in patients with dementia : clinical care and pharmacological treatment”. What’s the main focus of the thesis?

Juraj Sečník, PhD student at the Division of Clinical Geriatrics, NVS. Photo: Selma Wolofsky.

The main aim of this thesis was to evaluate the care received by patients suffering from both diabetes mellitus and dementia in Sweden. In this understudied population, we focused on the medications prescribed either for cognitive impairment or to maintain normal blood glucose levels and connected their use to long-term outcomes, such as mortality and global cognitive decline.

Which are the most important results? 

Firstly, the patients suffering from diabetes and dementia were less commonly treated with medications for cognitive problems, however in those who did receive the medications, we have observed lower mortality.
Secondly, newer diabetes medications were connected to slower deterioration of cognition and longer survival, but their use was less frequent in patients with dementia.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

We have identified several medications that may be beneficial specifically in patients suffering from diabetes and dementia, which can provide guidance to physicians when deciding the initiation of treatment. In addition, the patients were less commonly prescribed with cognitive medications, suggesting inequality in care and possibly “missing the benefit” of these therapeutics. Further studies are needed to create tailored prescription guidelines for patients diagnosed with diabetes and dementia.

What´s in the future for you? Will you keep on conducting research? 

Absolutely, there are many unanswered questions in the field of dementia care, and I would like to continue working on the long-term medication use in patients with cognitive problems. However, I am open to broadening my expertise and ideally would like to combine the scientific work with clinical duties. 

Contact

Juraj Secnik Affiliated to research