Diabetes Shrinks the Brain

If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth, and can’t go a day without munching on a candy bar, maybe this article might just make you reconsider your eating habits. While eating a lot of sweets and other high-carb food, it might be a good idea to watch your daily intake as these types of food may lead to health complications, of which the most problematic would be diabetes.

However, as controllable as diabetes might be, just having the condition might lead to greater complications as well. In a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found out that that having Type 2 diabetes might make a person more prone to brain degeneration. In the MRI scans that they conducted, it was found that for every 10 years that a person suffers from diabetes, their brain will become two years older than those without diabetes.

When a brain ages, it shrinks, and when afflicted with diabetes, the brain shrinks faster.

Furthermore, the scientists found out via MRI scans that patients with more severe form of Type 2 diabetes suffered from this sort of brain degeneration even more than those who weren’t afflicted with the disease. Most humans lose about 1.5-2 cubic cm of brain volume each year, and apparently, diabetic patients lost twice that.

The scientists were able to keep up with patients that were 15 years earlier, and compared it with those of patient’s that have only been diagnosed for 4 years. Upon analyzing, it was found that the former had significantly less gray matter than the latter.

Previous studies have shown the link between diabetes and brain degeneration. However, it was formerly believed that diabetes only reduced blood flow to the brain, and that the shrinking of brain mass was not involved.

There are still several questions on how diabetes and brain tissue are linked. However, at the moment, there is still much research to be conducted. One thing that was thought to was whether a reduction in sugar will also produce the inverse effect – preventing brain loss.

However for the moment, it would be advisable for anyone who wish to keep their brain as sharp as it possibly can be to reduce their sugar intake, at least to reasonable amounts.