Type 2 diabetes has been known to affect other organs within the body such as the kidneys and eyes, but now there is a new study that shows diabetes mixed with being overwrought can cause alterations in the brain structure.
A new study published in the Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, states that people who are in the early stage of type 2 diabetes and are overweight and obese have more severe abnormalities in the brain structures and cognition. More so than people who are normal weight with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers did a study around 50 overweight or obese people between the ages 30 to 60 who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Along with that group was 50 normal weight people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 50 people without diabetes matched by sex and age group as the first group.
In order to examine the brain, researchers used the magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brain structure, which included the thickness and white matter connectivity, of each participant.
The gray matter of the results contains neuron cells bodies and white matter contains the nerve fibers and that processes and sends signals along the spinal cord. The reason for choosing to study the thickness and connectivity is because it could be the sensitive markers relating to the brain changes of diabetes, according to Dr. In Kyoon Lyoo lead author of the study.
The participants also had their memory, psychomotor, speed and executive function tested since it is known to affect people with type 2 diabetes.
The study results show that there is a thinning in gray matter in the areas of the brain impacting the motor control, executive function, body awareness, concentration and other cognitive functions in diabetic people than those who don’t have it. Then, those who are diabetic and overweight have more thinning.
The temporal lobe which is where the gray matter is thinning is the place associated with language, comprehension, and long-term memory making it vulnerable to the combined effects of type 2 diabetic people and being overweight.
According to the co-author of the study, Dr. Donals C. Simonson, there are similarities in the same abnormalities in the milder forms of the brain of diabetic people as in people with Alzheimer’s disease. As there is similarly thinning in the gray matter in people with depression.
Type 2 diabetes has been known to cause medical complications in certain organs which include the brain, however, there is more understanding of the other complications such as eye disease, kidney disease and amputations than there has been of the brain, mainly because it can’t be directly studied or getting samples.
Until this study which gives more insight than before, although, there is still needs to be more long-term and definitive studies to evaluate that brain and answer the question of what causes it and how to prevent it.