As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: June 23, 2014
Researchers have found a possible biological reason why people with diabetes are prone to depression. A new study shows that high blood glucose (sugar) levels in patients with Type 1 diabetes increase the levels of a brain neurotransmitter associated with depression, and alter the connections between regions of the brain that control emotions.
“It was traditionally thought that patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes have higher rates of depression than their nondiabetic peers because of the increased stress of managing a complex chronic disease,” said study co-investigators Nicolas Bolo, PhD, from Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, and Donald Simonson, MD, MPH, ScD from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both in Boston. “Our results suggest that high blood glucose levels may predispose patients with Type 1 diabetes to depression through biological mechanisms in the brain.”
The researchers studied 19 adults who were not depressed: eight with Type 1 diabetes (three men and five women, with an average age of 26) and 11 healthy controls (six men and five women, whose average age was 29). They used a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), called functional MRI, to measure brain activity, as well as magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure the level of glutamate, a brain neurotransmitter linked to depression at high levels. Subjects underwent brain imaging when their blood sugar level was normal (90 to 110 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL) and after a continuous infusion of glucose, which moderately elevated their blood sugar (180 to 200 mg/dL).
Bolo explained how acutely raising the blood sugar level reduced the strength of the connections among regions of the brain involved in self-perception and emotions to a greater degree in diabetic patients than in healthy control subjects. The strength of these connections in the brain was reportedly also lower in diabetic patients with poor long-term glucose control, as shown by a high hemoglobin A1c level, compared with diabetic subjects in good control, who had a low hemoglobin A1c.
In addition, acutely raising the blood glucose level elevated the neurotransmitter glutamate, in an area of the brain responsible for controlling emotions, in patients with Type 1 diabetes but not in healthy individuals, the authors reported.
These changes in the brain increase the risk of developing depression, according to Simonson. Diabetic patients reported worse scores on a depression questionnaire than did the controls, but they were well below the range for major depression, he noted.
“Our findings may enable the development of more targeted approaches to treating depression in diabetes,” Bolo stated.
For young adults with autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease (AD), molecular markers can identify changes associated with the disease before clinical onset, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in JAMA Neurology. Yakeel T. Quiroz, Ph.D., from Massachusetts...
Foods can determine whether someone will suffer from dementia in later years, according to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot. A large-scale international study that...
Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is not an easy task. Caregiving is a long-term endeavour that is mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially demanding, and is a role that...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.