New research has shown that a potential link between diabetes and the amount of cholesterol that is produced by the brain. The study, by scientists at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Bosto, discovered that the single source of cholesterol for the brain, brain cholesterol synthesis, was lowered in several mouse models of diabetes.
We know that the brain has more cholesterol than any other part of the body, and needs to produce its own cholesterol in sufficient amounts in order to work properly. C. Ronald Kah, who led the research, commented “Since cholesterol is required by neurons to form synapses (connections) with other cells, this decrease in cholesterol could affect how nerves function for appetite regulatio, behaviour, memory and even pain and motor activity.”
This mechanism may have a role in the development of Alzheimers disease and other types of neurological dysfunction, and these findings may point to another effect, in diabetic neuropathy.
Previous studies have also revealed that diabetics have altered brain function as compared to people without the condition, and that they are more likely to suffer from depression, eating disorders and memory loss .
The research, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, also showed decreased expression for nearly all of the cholesterol synthesis genes, including SREBP-2, the main regulator for cholesterol production, and also a link between a lowering of brain cholesterol synthesis and a person’s appetite.

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