December 11, 2013

Brain Miscaculating Insulin Needs in T2D

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calculatingThe brain is an extraordinary organ. It calls the shots across the nation of the body. This includes glucose metabolism in the lay of the land, according to a study published in Nature.

Could the brain play a more instrumental role in T2D and glucose regulation that we initially thought? No pun intended, the brain may provide us with new, imaginative ways to treat and prevent the growing epidemic.

The researchers found that insulin-producing cells of the pancreas and neuronal circuits in the brain are involved in maintaining normal glucose levels. The development of T2D is perhaps due to a breakdown in communication between the pancreatic islets and brain cells.

In T2D, there is a disjointed response of the insulin-producing cells when the blood glucose levels rise in the body. The relayed message of how much insulin is needed to control the glucose levels is miscalculated, therefore resulting in an insufficient amount of insulin being stimulated.

It looks like the brain is unaware of the effects insulin resistance can impart on the insulin stimulated to address the demand of the glucose in the body. The brain is ignorant to this state of insulin resistance because such a thing doesn’t exist in the brain.

The brain runs primarily on glucose. Glucose is transported into cells by insulin. Skeletal muscles can cause insulin resistance in the body. The brain doesn’t have skeletal muscle. Certain anti-depressant drugs that affect the brain can hinder glucose metabolism. This study may be on the right track. How can we teach the brain how insulin resistance affects the calculation on insulin demands?

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