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[IP] Yet another reason to get under good control EARLY and stay there:

Type 1 Diabetes May Impact Learning

Sept. 19, 2001 (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Type 1, or insulin dependent, diabetes 
can have long term effects on the ability of children to learn, say 
Australian investigators.

Doctors know a steady supply of glucose is critical for normal metabolism in 
the brain, and functional and structural changes within the central nervous 
system have been documented in patients with type 1 diabetes. In children, 
an abnormal decrease in blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, along with 
an early onset of the disease, have been linked to learning problems.

In this study, researchers studied which learning skills were most affected 
and what diabetic conditions had the most impact on them. Ninety children 
between the ages of 6 and 17 years underwent neuropsychological assessments 
soon after diagnosis, again two years later, and for a final time six years 
after the initial diagnosis. They were compared to a group of 84 children 
without diabetes who underwent similar assessments at similar times.

Results showed children with diabetes performed significantly worse than 
healthy youngsters on measures of intelligence, attention, processing speed, 
long term memory, and executive skills. Attention, processing speed, and 
executive skills were the most affected in children whose diabetes had been 
diagnosed before age 4. Lower verbal and intelligence quotient scores were 
most associated with children who also suffered from severe hypoglycemia, or 
low blood sugar.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care , 2001;24;1541-1546 Click here if you would like to 
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