Study shows Type 1 diabetic children have slow brain growth
Continued exposure to hyperglycemia or high blood sugar may be detrimental to their developing brain.
“Our results show the potential vulnerability of young developing brains to abnormally elevated glucose levels even when the diabetes duration has been relatively brief,” said Nelly Mauras, chief, division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the Nemours Children’s Clinic in the US.
Mauras and colleagues studied brain development in children, aged four to nine years, with Type 1 diabetes using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cognitive tests.
They also underwent blood sugar monitoring using glucose sensors.
The brains of children with diabetes showed slower overall and regional growth of grey and white matter compared with children without diabetes.
The results suggest that the children with Type 1 diabetes had differences in brain maturation compared with children without diabetes.
However, there was no significant differences in cognitive function between the groups at 18-months.
Some of the brain regions impacted are involved in visual-spatial processing, executive functions and working memory.
The study appeared in the journal Diabetes.
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