A pilot study of youth who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes compared with youth of the same age without the condition, shown different sizes of the brain in various regions. The study was reported on in January of 2018 by the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Scientists at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 40 youth and compared Type 2 obese diabetics with healthy participants. Those with Type 2 diabetes had …
- smaller brain sizes in 14 regions, and
- more large dimensions in 6 other areas.
The investigators concluded future research is needed to discover whether different brain development is the result of adolescent-type Type 2 diabetes.
Nine of the regions with a smaller size in Type 2 diabetic adolescents were in the temporal and occipital lobes of the brain …
- the temporal lobes are located on the left and right sides of the brain at the level of the temples.
- the occipital lobe makes up the back part of the brain.
The temporal lobes are responsible for …
- selective hearing, and
- recognizing sound.
The left temporal lobe contains …
- part of the Wernicke's area and is responsible for the comprehension of speech.
Temporal lobes help us to recognize faces, enjoy music, memories, and aromas.
The occipital lobe is responsible for …
- sight. It makes sense of what we see so we can understand it.
Brain size differences have also been noted in adults. In 2013 the journal of the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care, reported on a study of 145 diabetic women compared with non-diabetic women. MRI images of their brains showed the women with Type 2 diabetes had a …
- smaller brain size than non-diabetic women of the same age (72 to 89) and
- scored lower on tests of mental function.
That same year the journal Diabetes and Metabolism Research and Review reported on a study comparing the brain of both diabetic and nondiabetic men and women. The MRI images showed the hippocampus was smaller in both the male and female diabetics but more specifically in the women.
The hippocampus has a variety of tasks. It is used for transferring short-term memory to long-term memory and is thought to be responsible for regulating emotional responses. It allows us to remember space and be able to navigate familiar places. Our ability to find our way around the block is lodged in the hippocampus.