Nav: Home

Alterations detected in brain connectivity in patients with type 1 diabetes

December 19, 2018

Patients with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) have a brain connectivity network different from the healthy people, according to a new study led by researchers of the Institute of Neurosciences and the Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS) of the University of Barcelona. This confirmation, reached with neuroimaging techniques and statistical models applied to complex systems, reinforce the idea that these patients' brains develop a series of functional changes to adapt to cognitive alterations caused by this disease. These results could have potential implications in the diagnosis of diabetes and the study of other disorders with cognitive alterations.

The study, published in the science journal PLOS ONE, involves the participation of Joan Guàrdia and Maribel Peró Cebollero, from the Faculty of Psychology of the UB, Geisa Gallardo and Andrés González from the University of Guadalajara (Mexico), and Esteve Gudayol, from the Michoacan University of Saint Nicholas of Hidalgo (Mexico).

The study has explored -with magnetic resonance imaging techniques (fMRI)- the activation pattern for brain connectivity in fifteen patients with Type 1 Diabetes and a control group of fifteen healthy people while they carried out working memory tasks with visual stimuli. The neuroimaging technique measures the brain activity during the tasks thanks to the changes in the blood flux that take place in the brain depending on the areas with a higher energy use.

Adaptive mechanisms in the brain

The results of the working memory tasks were similar, but the analysis of brain connections showed important differences between the two participating groups. According to the authors, "patients with T1D showed a significant reduction of activation areas in the brain, compared to the control group, which showed a more complex connectivity network". Moreover, the connectivity pattern in T1D patients affected the cerebellum and the red nucleus mainly. However, the control group involved other brain areas which activate when individuals carry out working memory tasks". These results on the neuronal connections complete previous studies by the same team of researchers which showed different activation patterns in specific brain areas.

"These changes, and the fact that the results of the analysed tasks are similar, mean that the brain creates compensation mechanisms to fulfil cognitive demands which favour a better functioning", notes Joan Guàrdia, professor of Psychology and first signer of the article. "Also, these data show that adaptations can be important, since T1D patients develop connectivity networks which are very different from healthy people".

A methodology to explore other diseases

The analysis of differences in brain connectivity networks opens new study pathways for other population groups -pathological and healthy ones. "This study enabled us to show that a complex network can characterize the cognitive performance in a differentiating task between groups. At the moment, we are working on the methodology that was used in this study with patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, people with depression and other collectives with cognitive alterations", notes Joan Guàrdia.

Cognitive alterations in Type 1 Diabetes

T1D is a chronic disease caused by the lack of insulin production, the hormone that regulates sugar in blood. This type of diabetes forces patients to take insulin daily and is an important cause for blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, and other complications. Apart from these disorders, some patients can show a mild cognitive impairment which affects memory, measuring information processing speed, verbal skills, learning and executive functions, including working memory in children and adults.

Guàrdia-Olmos, J.; Gudayol-Ferré, E.; Gallardo-Moreno, GB.; Martínez-Ricart, M.; Peró-Cebollero, M.; González-Garrido A. A "Complex systems representing effective connectivity in patients with Type One Diabetes Mellitus". PLOS ONE 13(11). November 2018. DOI: e0208247.

University of Barcelona

Related Diabetes Articles:

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.
People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.
Diabetes, but not diabetes drug, linked to poor pregnancy outcomes
New research indicates that pregnant women with pre-gestational diabetes who take metformin are at a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes -- such as major birth defects and pregnancy loss -- than the general population, but their increased risk is not due to metformin but diabetes.
New oral diabetes drug shows promise in phase 3 trial for patients with type 1 diabetes
A University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus study finds sotagliflozin helps control glucose and reduces the need for insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
More Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at