A new study conducted by researchers in Canada suggests that three distinctive factors related to cognitive defects can help identify the possibility of dementia among people suffering from type-2 diabetes.

The study, which appears in the September issue of the medical journal Neuropsychology, suggests that diabetics who also had high blood pressure, walked slowly and had problems related to balance could be at a higher risk of contracting dementia.

The Canadian research team studied the health cards of 41 adults aged between 55 and 81 who suffered from type-2 diabetes. The analysis suggested that those with the above three cognitive defects were more likely to have poor memory and slower and more rapid cognitive degeneration than those who did not have the three problems.

The researchers suggested that these factors may not actually lead to cognitive deficits, but their presence might well help alert doctors of such problems coming to the fore in later years.

A press release issued by the American Psychological Association quotes study co-author Roger Dixon as stating that awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease -- and to motivate them to do so.

In the past, it has been proven that type-2 diabetes doubles the risk of dementia among old people and that the accelerated pace of diabetes in the western nations could result in a dramatic increase in the number of dementia patients globally.

The National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases estimates that at least 23 percent for all Americans who are older than 60 years have been diagnosed with diabetes.