Recurrent hypoglycemia (RH), the most common side-effect of intensive insulin therapy for diabetes, is well established to diminish counter-regulatory responses to further hypoglycemia. However, despite significant patient concern, the impact of RH on cognitive and neural function remains controversial. Here we review the data from both human studies and recent animal studies regarding the impact of RH on cognitive, metabolic, and neural processes. Overall, RH appears to cause brain adaptations which may enhance cognitive performance and fuel supply when euglycemic but which pose significant threats during future hypoglycemic episodes.
Published by Elsevier Inc.