Brain functional alterations in Type 2 Diabetes - A systematic review of fMRI studies

Front Neuroendocrinol. 2017 Oct;47:34-46. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2017.07.001. Epub 2017 Jul 4.


Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) is emerging as a major global health issue. T2DM can adversely affect cognition and increase dementia risk. This systematic review aimed to examine the functional brain changes that may underlie cognitive dysfunction in adults with T2DM. Studies were restricted to those which used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Nineteen independent studies were identified, mostly comprised of middle aged or older adults. Resting-state studies demonstrated that compared to controls, connectivity of the Default Mode Network (DMN) was reduced and the majority of task-based studies identified reduced activation in T2DM patients in regions relevant to task performance. Abnormalities of low frequency spontaneous brain activity were observed, particularly in visual regions. As most studies demonstrated that alterations in fMRI were related to poorer neuropsychological task performance, these results indicate that functional brain abnormalities in T2DM have consequences for cognition.

Keywords: Brain; Cognition; Default mode network; Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); Type 2 Diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neuropsychological Tests