During a Monday afternoon symposium, four investigators will break down the brain’s role in hypoglycemia from various research angles. The two-hour symposium, Hypoglycemia—All About the Brain, will begin at 2:15 p.m. CT Monday, June 15.
Therese Anderbro, PhD, Lic.Psychologist, from the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University in Sweden, will discuss the association between personality and psychological factors and the risk of hypoglycemia. The association is complex and bidirectional, she said.
“Assessing personality and psychological factors when assessing hypoglycemia risk can greatly help target suitable interventions for addressing problems with hypoglycemia,” Dr. Anderbro said.
Pratik Choudhary, MD, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Diabetes at Kings College London, United Kingdom, will present new data about scanning techniques that examine how the brain reacts to hypoglycemia, and how an improved understanding of patient behavior can lead to better treatment strategies. Dr. Choudhary will also discuss how the brain may use other energy sources, such as lactate or glutamate, to stay functional amid low glucose levels.
Dr. Choudhary’s research group has discovered interesting differences between diabetes patients and those without diabetes, and also between people who have the ability to detect hypoglycemia and those with a reduced ability.
“When we looked at those with no symptoms, we saw no activation in the thalamus, but we saw increased activation in frontal areas of the brain involved with decision making,” Dr. Choudhary said. “This makes us wonder if the lack of symptoms is related to abnormal activation in the frontal areas that stops the thalamus from doing its job and generating symptoms.”
Also during the session, Linda Gonder-Frederick, PhD, Associate Professor of Research in Psychiatric Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, will discuss cognitions and beliefs that increase the risk of hypoglycemia. And Rory J. McCrimmon, MD, Dean of Teaching and Research in the School of Medicine at the University of Dundee, U.K., will review the central mechanisms of hypoglycemia awareness.