Research sheds new light on impact of diabetes on the brain
The new findings published in the Diabetes Care journal reveal the extent of damage patients suffering with the disease can endure in areas of the brain called ‘grey matter’ – a key component of the central nervous system which is involved in touch and pain sensory perception.
During the study, which involved patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, researchers used recent advances in ground breaking brain imaging and analyses methods to take detailed nerve assessments of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques.
This revealed that the volume of certain brain regions in people with diabetic neuropathy was significantly lower compared to those without the disease. Previous studies have shown that the impact of the disease on the brain is limited and isolated to outside areas of the brain considered to be peripheral to core functions in the body.
The breakthrough could pave the way for better assessment and monitoring of the disease, which affects around a third of people with diabetes. This, in turn, could lead to better treatments for sufferers in the future.