In a recent study, researchers found that diabetes, which has many underlying health risks, can also affect brain health. The study observed brain and cognitive differences between children with Type 1 diabetes and those without. They wanted to find out if brain health of children with diabetes worsens over time compared to those without diabetes and if this is associated with hyperglycemia (Mauras et al., 2021).
In the study, 140 Type 1 diabetic children between ages 6 and 12 and 72 age-matched non-diabetic children participated. They measured the children’s brain health using MRI and cognitive testing. Results showed that the diabetic children had lower IQs and this cognitive difference persisted or increased over time. They also found that cognitive scores were lower for diabetic children with higher blood glucose levels.
What does this mean? The study results highlight the negative effects of diabetes on children’s brain growth and how cognitive differences between diabetic and non-diabetic children are associated with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These results underline the importance of proper blood sugar management in children. Although you cannot cure diabetes, you can keep your blood sugar levels in range by checking your blood glucose levels and taking the needed about of insulin.
Given that brain development occurs more rapidly in children, it is important to take care of your children’s brain health from a young age.
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