Progression of diabetes can cause severe damage to several organs, including the brain. Normal functioning of the brain depends largely on cholesterol. It supports neuronal communication and facilitates the transmission of messages that affect thoughts and movements.
The brain is one of the most cholesterol rich organs in the body. It contains nearly 25 percent of the body’s cholesterol. However, unlike other bodily organs, which receive cholesterol from the bloodstream, the brain synthesizes cholesterol on its own. The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) prevents the brain from getting cholesterol directly from the blood.
Diabetes can Suppress the Synthesis of Crucial Brain Cholesterol
A recent study conducted by Joslin Diabetes Center, affiliated to Harvard Medical School, associated diabetes with reduced synthesis of brain cholesterol and synaptosomal cholesterol content, required for synapse formation and other neuronal functions. Also, deficit cholesterol was associated with higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, neuropathy and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The research focused on finding how hypothalamic gene expression is affected by diabetes. The study was conducted on C57BL/6J (B6J, 000664) mice in which type1 and type2 diabetes were induced. The researchers compared the gene expression in the brain samples from the diabetic mice with those of healthy mice.
It was found that the synaptosomal cholesterol content in the brains of diabetic mice was abnormally low. This was caused by reduced expression of the SREBP-2 gene, which is considered the master regulator of cholesterol metabolism. It was observed that the overall gene activity involved in cholesterol synthesis was reduced by 25 percent in diabetic mice.
The study concluded that the down-regulation of cholesterol regulating genes was caused by hypoinsulinemia, a condition associated with diabetes, which results in insulin shortage.
The findings can give new insight on why diabetics are more likely to suffer from memory loss, depression, eating disorders, neuropathy and other neurological dysfunction.
Visit www.myiho.com/orlandodiabetesproject/, to learn more about diabetes solutions. Dr. Marc Ott, DC, and Dr. Heather Carter, DC, are committed to understanding the needs and concerns of people with diabetes and to help them control and cope with the disorder.