The prevalence of both cognitive dysfunction and diabetes is increasing. Diabetes increases the risk for cognitive impairment and the rate of cognitive decline doubles after diabetes is diagnosed. In turn, cognitive dysfunction can make diabetes self-management more difficult. Diabetes self-management, essential to good glycemic control, requires both the assimilation of knowledge regarding a complex disease and self-management activities such as glucose self-monitoring and medication management. There is a need to determine the biological effects of cognitive interventions for those with diabetes, to measure treatment response, and to potentially enable clinicians to personalize treatment approaches to maximize outcomes for people with diabetes.

Currently, my research focuses on ways to improve cognitive function in order to improve diabetes self-management –particularly in underserved and underrepresented populations. Completed studies include one of the first to examine perceived cognitive difficulties (i.e. symptoms) with diabetes self-management adherence. Most recently, we conducted an NIH funded study to adapt a cognitive rehabilitation intervention for persons with type 2 diabetes.

Ongoing studies:
Feasibility of a cognitive rehabilitation intervention for persons with type 2 diabetes using webinar/online formats.

Examination of perceptions of cognitive health and use of cognitively stimulating activities by Latinos with type 2 diabetes.

Identification of patient, provider, and clinic level factors affecting screening for cognitive dysfunction in Latinos with type 2 diabetes.