Type 2 diabetes may cause brain damage in children

A new study has found that obese children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes did worse on tests that measure thinking ability compared to obese children who did not have type 2 diabetes . The study involved cognitive tests and MRI scans being given to 18 obese children with type 2 diabetes and 18 obese children who did not have the condition. Those with type 2 diabetes scored lower on tests of learning, memory, spelling, reading and decision-making, and also recorded lower IQ scores.
The study, published in the journal Diabetologia, found that “in the absence of clinically significant vascular disease, there may be clear brain complications among adolescents with type 2 diabetes.” However, we still do not know if cognitive problems are reversible with significant weight loss and exercise .
Dr. Antonio Convit, professor of psychiatry and medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, said “Everyone talks about losing toes or problems with kidneys after having diabetes for 20 years, but no one is thinking about the brain as a site of complications. This is the first concrete evidence that the brain suffers complications of type 2 diabetes as early as during adolescence.”
Although previous studies have also found cognitive problems among adults with type 2 diabetes, researchers are still not convinced that the cognitive problems result from type 2 diabetes, or are associated with vascular problems that could also affect the brain.

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