Brains Of Teens With Type 2 Diabetes Show Gray Matter Changes

Teenagers suffering from type 2 diabetes display differences in brain gray matter volume, according to a new study conducted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers.

Scientists also claim changes in the brain’s gray matter regions that influence emotions, speech, seeing, hearing, memory, self-control and decision making.

Researchers propose that teenagers suffering from type 2 diabetes possess six regions of the brain with decidedly less gray matter and three with significantly more. Scientists also discovered a link between less gray matter and the ability to sound out and pronounce unfamiliar words.

"Previous studies suggested that youth with type 2 diabetes have changes in brain structure and poorer cognitive function scores compared to their peers," said Amy Sanghavi Shah, MD, senior author of the study. "Total and regional brain volume had not been assessed comprehensively until now. We also sought to determine if the findings we found here could explain poorer cognitive scores."

Brain regions

During the study researchers looked at 20 teenages with type 2 diabetes and an equal number of participants without the disease. The teens were similar in sex, race and age, and each underwent high-resolution MRIs to examine brain gray matter volume.

"Our results do not show cause and effect," said Dr. Jacob Redel, lead author of the study. "We don't know if the changes we found are the direct result of diabetes, but studies in adults with type 2 diabetes with longer duration of disease also show brain volume differences, brain vascular changes and cognitive decline. However, our findings suggest that preventing type 2 diabetes in adolescents is important to prevent possible complications in the future."

Source: EurekAlert!

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