Type 2 Diabetes May Affect Children’s Brains

August 04, 2010

According to a new study published online in Diabetologia, obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes may experience changes in their brains that affect how well they are learning in school. Cognitive and brain impairments, have been documented in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have multiple co-morbid disorders that could contribute to these observations.
The new study focused on obese teenagers with type 2 diabetes and compared them with a control group of obese children who do not suffer from type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that adolescents with type 2 diabetes performed consistently worse in all cognitive domains assessed, with the difference reaching statistical significance for estimated intellectual functioning, verbal memory and psychomotor efficiency. MRI-based automated brain structural analyses revealed both reduced white matter volume and enlarged cerebrospinal fluid space in the whole brain and the frontal lobe in particular, but there was no obvious grey matter volume reduction. In addition, assessments using diffusion tensor imaging revealed reduced white and grey matter microstructural integrity.

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