Using new MRI technology, researchers have found subtle brain differences in people who suffer from diabetes, which could explain the depression that afflicts so many diabetes patients. Emily Taylor reports.
TAYLOR: Feeling sweet, but a little low? Scientists working in conjunction with the Joslin Diabetes Center have new evidence that some people living with Type 1 diabetes have subtle differences in parts of their brain which, down the road, may be responsible for depression in diabetes patients.
Using a new three-dimensional form of magnetic resonance imaging called voxel-based morphometry, or VBM, scientists were able to take very sensitive measurements of small areas of the brain. What they found was a lower density of gray matter in certain areas of the brains of the diabetes patients. They were also able to associate this less-dense area with inferior glycemic control.
Although no changes were found in processing functions, the researchers believe that similar brain damage, caused by diabetes, may be responsible for the common depression among diabetes sufferers who sufferer from depression at twice the rate of the general public.
Depression in diabetes patients was originally attributed to the increased stresses found among people living with the disease. The VBM technology may be able to prove that it’s the result of actual brain damage from diabetes and just may help explain those “sugar lows.” That’s this week’s Note on Emerging Science, I’m Emily Taylor.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth