As they age, people with diabetes are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. Routine eye scans may give clues to cognitive decline in diabetes than are people without diabetes. Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center now have shown that routine eye imaging can identify changes in the retina that may be associated with cognitive disorders in older people with type 1 diabetes. These results may open up a relatively easy method for early detection of cognitive decline in this population, providing better ways to understand, diagnose and ultimately treat the decline, said George L. King, MD, Joslin’s Chief Scientific Officer and senior author on a paper about the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Previous research had demonstrated an association between proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR, a complication of diabetes that can severely damage eye and cognitive impairment in people with type 1 diabetes. Strikingly, the researchers found very strong associations between performance on memory tasks and structural changes in deep blood vessel networks in the retina.