Scientists have recommended that individuals with diabetes may be more vulnerable to depression due to the fact of an interaction in this group between high blood sugar levels and a neurotransmitter related with depression. The group provided their results at the joint conference of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society.
Earlier study has recommended connection between diabetes and depression, but researchers have been doubtful of the mechanism driving this connection.
The scientists from that research identified that women with depression had a 17% greater risk of developing diabetes – and women taking antidepressant medications had a 25% higher risk of developing diabetes – than women without having depression.
They also identified that women with diabetic issues had a 29% higher threat of depression – and women getting insulin had a 53% greater risk of depression – in comparison with women without diabetes.
“Depression may outcome from the biochemical modifications directly triggered by diabetes or its therapy,” the authors hypothesized, “or from the pressures and strains related with living with diabetes and its usually debilitating consequences.”
This theory is addressed by the scientists behind the new research – Nicolas Bolo and Dr. Donald Simonson.
Biochemical Mechanism may Describe Diabetes-Depression Connection
“It was traditionally believed that sufferers with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have greater rates of depression than their non-diabetic peers due to the fact enhanced stress of managing a complex chronic disease,” Bolo and Simonson publish.
“Our outcomes recommend that high blood glucose levels may predispose sufferers with type 1 diabetes to depression via biological mechanisms in the brain.”
Bolo and Simonson examined 3 men and 5 women (average age 25) with type 1 diabetes and compared them with a control group of 6 men and 5 women (average age 28). None of the individuals were depressed.
Making use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers assessed the levels of glutamate – a neurotransmitter connected to depression at high levels – in the participant’s brains. Subjects were scanned both when their blood sugar level was regular – at 90-110 mg/dL – and when it was moderately raised, at 180-200 mg/dL.
The authors identified that when the blood sugar level was increased, the strength of the associations between regions of the brain engaged in self-perception and emotions turned weaker in the diabetic sufferers than in the healthy control participants.
Increasing blood glucose levels also elevated the levels of glutamate in the diabetic sufferers, but not in the control group. Increased levels of glutamate in the diabetic sufferers corresponded with worse scores on a depression questionnaire.
However, the scientists note that even though the diabetic group claimed worse scores than the control group, the results were still well under the range for major depression.
Dr. Bolo feels that the team’s results “may allow the development of more focused methods to treating depression in diabetes.”