Type 2 Diabetes and Memory: Using Neuroimaging to Understand the Mechanisms
The most robust and frequently reported cognitive deficits in type 2 diabetes (DM2) are those that relate to memory. Behavioural research has identified a number of potential contributory physiological factors, including abnormalities in glucose metabolism, such as hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia. The impact of these mechanisms on memory has been further investigated through the use of both structural and functional neuroimaging. Structural brain imaging has indicated that memory impairments in DM2 are associated with global atrophy of the brain. Further data suggest that localised atrophy in the hippocampal area, a brain region critical to memory formation and consolidation, may be primarily responsible for the memory deficits seen in this population. Functional imaging data has corroborates these findings, with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggesting reduced connectivity between the hippocampus and surrounding brain regions, particularly the frontal and temporal gyri. Despite this, little functional neuroimaging research has directly investigated differences in regional brain activity between healthy and DM2 participants whilst memory tasks are being performed. By using neuroimaging techniques to their full potential, we can acquire a fuller, more comprehensive picture of the impact that DM2 has on memory.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2014
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