Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Decreased Cortical Thickness

HealthDay News — Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) — particularly those who are overweight or obese — have decreased cortical thickness in several areas of the brain, according to research published in Diabetologia.

The study included 50 overweight or obese patients with T2D, 50 of normal-weight with T2D, and 50 of normal-weight without T2D. The Korean study volunteers were between 30 and 60 years old. Those with T2D had it for 5 years or less, and they were prescribed lifestyle modifications and/or taking oral medication. All study participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and cognitive testing.

The researchers found that global mean cortical thickness was lower in the overweight/obese T2D group than in the normal-weight T2D group. The team also observed a negative correlation between disease duration and global mean white matter integrity in the overweight/obese T2D group, but not in the normal-weight T2D group.

“This study showed that the concurrent presence of overweight/obesity was associated with cortical atrophy, disrupted white matter integrity, and cognitive dysfunction in early-stage type 2 diabetes,” the authors write. “An increased awareness of overweight/obesity-related risk is necessary to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes-related brain atrophy and cognitive dysfunction from early-stage type 2 diabetes onward.”

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Yoon S, Cho H, Lee D-W, et al. Brain changes in overweight/obese and normal-weight adults with type 2 diabetes mellius [published online April 27, 2017]. Diabetologia. 2017;60(7)1207-1217. doi:10.1007/s00125-017-4266-7