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No harm by low blood sugar

Teenagers with type I diabetes who aim to keep their glucose levels under tight control have frequent episodes of too-low blood sugar.

No harm by low blood sugar

Teenagers with type I diabetes who aim to keep their glucose levels under tight control have frequent episodes of too-low blood sugar, but this apparently has no lasting effect on their cognitive function. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar level in the body goes abnormally low. It can cause confusion, seizures or even coma, which can lead to family stress, loss of school or work time, accident, injuries, or even death. There is a concern that this can damage young brains that are still developing. Researchers from United Kingdom studied 175 patients with type I diabetes between 13 and 19 years of age who were enrolled in diabetes control and complication trial to investigate whether severe hypoglycemia or intensive therapy affects cognitive performance over time. The subjects underwent a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests when they were 29 to 41 years old. It was found that 51 of the 82 patients who were assigned to intensive diabetes therapy reported a total of 200 episodes of coma or seizure related to hypoglycemia; 94 similar episodes were reported by 36 of 93 subjects assigned to conventional treatment. But neither the frequency of hypoglycemia nor intensive diabetes therapy was found associated with decline on any cognitive function. The researchers concluded that despite the relatively higher rate of hypoglycemia, cognitive function does not decline over an extended period of time even in the youngest patients with type I diabetes.
Diabetes Care
October 2008
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