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Association between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Brain Atrophy: A Meta-Analysis
Tianqi Zhang, Marnie Shaw, Nicolas Cherbuin
Diabetes Metab J. 2022;46(5):781-802.   Published online March 8, 2022
  • 7,233 View
  • 305 Download
  • 15 Web of Science
  • 22 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is known to be associated with cognitive decline and brain structural changes. This study systematically reviews and estimates human brain volumetric differences and atrophy associated with T2DM.
PubMed, PsycInfo and Cochrane Library were searched for brain imaging studies reporting on brain volume differences between individuals with T2DM and healthy controls. Data were examined using meta-analysis, and association between age, sex, diabetes characteristics and brain volumes were tested using meta-regression.
A total of 14,605 entries were identified; after title, abstract and full-text screening applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 64 studies were included and 42 studies with compatible data contributed to the meta-analysis (n=31,630; mean age 71.0 years; 44.4% male; 26,942 control; 4,688 diabetes). Individuals with T2DM had significantly smaller total brain volume, total grey matter volume, total white matter volume and hippocampal volume (approximately 1% to 4%); meta-analyses of smaller samples focusing on other brain regions and brain atrophy rate in longitudinal investigations also indicated smaller brain volumes and greater brain atrophy associated with T2DM. Meta-regression suggests that diabetes-related brain volume differences start occurring in early adulthood, decreases with age and increases with diabetes duration.
T2DM is associated with smaller total and regional brain volume and greater atrophy over time. These effects are substantial and highlight an urgent need to develop interventions to reduce the risk of T2DM for brain health.


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  • Association between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Brain Atrophy: A Meta-Analysis (Diabetes Metab J 2022;46:781-802)
    Tianqi Zhang, Marnie Shaw, Nicolas Cherbuin
    Diabetes & Metabolism Journal.2022; 46(5): 815.     CrossRef
  • Association between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Brain Atrophy: A Meta-Analysis (Diabetes Metab J 2022;46:781-802)
    Se Hee Min
    Diabetes & Metabolism Journal.2022; 46(5): 813.     CrossRef
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Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist Differentially Affects Brain Activation in Response to Visual Food Cues in Lean and Obese Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Jae Hyun Bae, Hyung Jin Choi, Kang Ik Kevin Cho, Lee Kyung Kim, Jun Soo Kwon, Young Min Cho
Diabetes Metab J. 2020;44(2):248-259.   Published online November 4, 2019
  • 8,032 View
  • 237 Download
  • 7 Web of Science
  • 8 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   

To investigate the effects of a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist on functional brain activation in lean and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in response to visual food cues.


In a randomized, single-blinded, crossover study, 15 lean and 14 obese individuals with T2DM were administered lixisenatide or normal saline subcutaneously with a 1-week washout period. We evaluated brain activation in response to pictures of high-calorie food, low-calorie food, and nonfood using functional magnetic resonance imaging and measured appetite and caloric intake in participants who were given access to an ad libitum buffet.


Obese individuals with T2DM showed significantly greater activation of the hypothalamus, pineal gland, parietal cortex (high-calorie food vs. low-calorie food, P<0.05), orbitofrontal cortex (high-calorie food vs. nonfood, P<0.05), and visual cortex (food vs. nonfood, P<0.05) than lean individuals with T2DM. Lixisenatide injection significantly reduced the functional activation of the fusiform gyrus and lateral ventricle in obese individuals with T2DM compared with that in lean individuals with T2DM (nonfood vs. high-calorie food, P<0.05). In addition, in individuals who decreased their caloric intake after lixisenatide injection, there were significant interaction effects between group and treatment in the posterior cingulate, medial frontal cortex (high-calorie food vs. low-calorie food, P<0.05), hypothalamus, orbitofrontal cortex, and temporal lobe (food vs. nonfood, P<0.05).


Brain responses to visual food cues were different in lean and obese individuals with T2DM. In addition, acute administration of lixisenatide differentially affected functional brain activation in these individuals, especially in those who decreased their caloric intake after lixisenatide injection.


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