Memory and insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM): effects of childhood onset and severe hypoglycemia

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 1997 Nov;3(6):509-20.


Previous studies of the neuropsychological consequences of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) have had mixed and often contradictory results, possibly due to the heterogeneity of the samples and neuropsychological measures, and a lack of specific hypotheses. In order to address this problem, we focused on the effect of severe hypoglycemia on memory functioning in a relatively homogeneous sample of childhood-onset IDDM patients. Given the deleterious effects of hypoglycemia on medial temporal lobe structures (e.g., hippocampus) and the relationship between medial temporal damage and declarative memory functioning, we hypothesized that those patients who had experienced severe hypoglycemia would demonstrate impaired declarative memory and spared nondeclarative memory functioning. Results of the study were generally consistent with this hypothesis, although some impact of hypoglycemia was observed on perceptual priming ability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / complications*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*