Variations in brain volume and growth in young children with type 1 diabetes

Paul K. Mazaika, Stuart A. Weinzimer, Nelly Mauras, Bruce Buckingham, Neil H. White, Eva Tsalikian, Tamara Hershey, Allison Cato, Tandy Aye, Larry Fox, Darrell M. Wilson, Michael J. Tansey, William Tamborlane, Daniel Peng, Mira Raman, Matthew Marzelli, Allan L. Reiss, Julie Coffey, Joanne Cabbage, Sara SalamatiKim Englert, Kaitlin Sikes, Tina Ewen, Kimberly Caswell, Amy Steffen, Kate Weyman, Melinda Zgorski, Jodie Ambrosino, Ana Maria Arbelaez, Lucy Levandoski, Angie Starnes, Naama Barnea-Goraly, Mark Sperling, Dorothy M. Becker, Patricia Cleary, Carla Greenbaum, Antoinette Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Early-onset type 1 diabetes may affect the developing brain during a critical window of rapid brain maturation. Structural MRI was performed on 141 children with diabetes (4-10 years of age at study entry) and 69 age-matched control subjects at two time points spaced 18 months apart. For the children with diabetes, the mean (±SD) HbA1c level was 7.9 ± 0.9% (63 ± 9.8 mmol/mol) at both time points. Relative to control subjects, children with diabetes had significantly less growth of cortical gray matter volume and cortical surface area and significantly less growth of white matter volume throughout the cortex and cerebellum. For the population with diabetes, the change in the blood glucose level at the time of scan across longitudinal time points was negatively correlated with the change in gray and white matter volumes, suggesting that fluctuating glucose levels in children with diabetes may be associated with corresponding fluctuations in brain volume. In addition, measures of hyperglycemia and glycemic variation were significantly negatively correlated with the development of surface curvature. These results demonstrate that early-onset type 1 diabetes has widespread effects on the growth of gray and white matter in children whose blood glucose levels are well within the current treatment guidelines for the management of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-485
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.


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