Is type 2 diabetes mellitus a disorder of the brain?

Nutrition. Jul-Aug 2002;18(7-8):667-72. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(02)00746-3.

Abstract

I propose that type 2 diabetes mellitus is due to damage to neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus or to a defect in the action or properties of insulin or insulin receptors in the brain. These neuronal abnormalities are probably secondary to a marginal deficiency of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during the critical periods of brain growth and development. Hence, supplementation of adequate amounts of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during the third trimester of pregnancy to 2 y postterm can prevent or postpone the development of diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Brain Diseases / complications*
  • Cytokines
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / complications
  • Hypothalamus, Middle
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Receptor, Insulin / analysis
  • Somatomedins

Substances

  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Insulin
  • Somatomedins
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Acetylcholine