Objectives. The aim of the study was to examine differences in cognitive functioning of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes as compared to healthy controls.
Method. A total of 99 participants aged 18 to 55 were individually submitted to a neuropsychological assessment of cognitive functions using a number of methods. The sample included patients with type 1 (n =31) or type 2 diabetes (n =31), and a comparison group of volunteers without diagnosed diseases that might affect cognitive functions (n = 37). The assessed dependent variables included attention, visual and auditory memory, short- and long-term memory, learning, working memory, executive functions, visuomotor coordination, abstract thinking, and verbal fluency.
Results. Statistically significant intergroup differences were found with respect to the cognitive functions measured. Cognitive functioning efficacy of patients with diabetes was significantly lower than that of non-diabetic controls.
Conclusions. 1) Patients suffering from diabetes as compared to the controls manifested significantly inferior cognitive performance regarding: the speed and efficiency of visuomotor coordination, visual and auditory memory effectiveness, learning ability, concentration of attention, verbal fluency, working memory and executive functions. 2) Patients with type 1 diabetes scored significantly lower than the comparison group in respect of the efficiency and speed of visuomotor coordination, as well as long-term auditory memory. 3) Patients with type 2 diabetes as compared to healthy controls revealed a significantly inferior cognitive performance concerning: abstract thinking, efficiency and speed of visuomotor coordination, verbal fluency, long- and short-term auditory memory, working memory, and executive functions.