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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Loss of Brain Tissue May Contribute to Cognitive Impairment Among Otherwise Healthy Diabetes Patients

Embargoed for meeting release until 1:00 pm HT, Tues., April 1, 2003

Honolulu, Hawaii – A very high proportion of patients with juvenile-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus have been found to also have cerebral atrophy, or a loss of brain tissue, according to a recent study conducted at the Department of Neurology, State University of New York at Buffalo. Results of the study are being presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, March 29-April 5, 2003. Earlier studies have suggested that cognitive dysfunction is common among such diabetes patients. The pathological basis of this dysfunction is not known, though the results of this Study of Cognitive Impairment and MRI Abnormality among Diabetics (SCIMAD) is underway to determine the correlation between cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy. One hundred study patients between ages 18 and 50, who have had insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (diagnosed before age 18) for at least 10 years were compared with an equal number of subjects within the same age cohort who did not have diabetes. All subjects received brain MRI, and atrophy was determined using a previously validated scoring method. To date, study results indicate that nearly 90 percent of the diabetic subjects had a brain volume score lower than the 50th percentile of the non-diabetic subjects. Jitendra Sharma, MD, and principal investigator Richard Chan, MBBS, FRCP, will present complete results during the meeting. The study was supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and the National Institutes of Health.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 27,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Editor's Notes:Dr. Jitendra Sharma will present the research at 2:15 p.m., Wed., April 2 in Room 313B of the Hawaii Convention Center. Dr. Richard Chan, principal investigator for the study, will be available to answer media questions during a briefing at 1:00 p.m. on Tues., April 1, in the AAN Press Room, Room 327 of the Hawaii Convention Center. All listed times are for Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time (HT).


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